An Easter basket full of candy — Photo courtesy of iStock / bhofack2
Remember rummaging through your Easter basket or cracking open your Easter eggs in search of a favorite malted chocolate treat? And, when you finally found the malted milk balls, you savored each bite and wished for more! It's a happy childhood memory that doesn't have to remain in the past; include malted milk balls in your Easter celebration this year.
While most identify malted milk balls as Whoppers, the popular chocolate candy actually has quite a long history that began well before the inception of the brand. In fact, the most important element of the candy, the malted milk powder, was invented in 1887 by England native William Horlick. Malted milk powder was intended to be a health food, but it gained popularity as a sweetener.
Several years later, in 1936, Forrest Mars (of M&M's and Mars Bar fame) was the first to create a candy using Horlick's malted milk powder. The candy, known as Mars' Malteasers (in England) and Giants (in the United States), had a malted milk center with a milk chocolate coating.
In 1949, Giants were renamed Whoppers and the famous, easily recognizable milk carton packaging was created soon after. While Whoppers are a Hershey product, Malteasers are still produced in the Mars factory in Slough, England.
If you're interested in learning more about malted milk balls (and perhaps sampling a few), make the trip to Hershey's Chocolate World in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Tour the factory to learn how chocolate is made, be a chocolatier for the day and create your own candy, and sample the delicious treats. What better way to spend your Easter holiday weekend than in a land of chocolate?
If Chocolate World is out of reach, pick up some malted milk balls at the store or make sure the Easter bunny drops by with some candy. Either way, this Easter will be sweet.