The Hollywood Candy Company was a minor but successful national candy chain for much of the 20th century. Named after their home base in Hollywood, MN, they successfully introduced the first fluffy nougat bar, MilkShake. It was so successful that the Mars Candy Company put out their own version: Milky Way.*
I first discovered MilkShake in the late 50s. By this time, Milky Way was one of the most popular candy bars in the US, and MilkShake looked like a cheap knockoff. I didn’t like it as much: it didn’t have as good a flavor or texture. But in the summer, MilkShake was more than just a candy bar: it was a frozen treat.
Just about every place that sold ice cream novelties also sold frozen MilkShakes. This was not like today, when a novelty is created from ice cream that tastes vaguely like its namesake. No, they would put a bunch of MilkShake bars in the freezer and sell them (for a premium) as a treat in hot weather.
A frozen MilkShake came out of the freezer too hard to bite into. But, with a little work and patience and, of course, thawing, it would slowly begin to warm up just enough to be eaten. The combination of the chill and the candy rush made it a treat.
Around the mid-60s, the treat vanished. Maybe the MilkShake was taken off the market,** but I remember asking for one and they had no idea what I was talking about. Milky Way was a poor substitute, mostly because it was denser. And while that made it better eaten straight, it meant it was ever harder to bite into. The practice of freezing candy bars faded away.
Hollywood Candy remained around, but the company was bought by a series of different candy companies starting in 1967, about the time MilkShake vanished. Their two most successful brands – Zero and Payday -- are still around and now owned by Hershey.
The MilkShake was not a great candy until frozen. Then, they were at the top of my list.
*Candy recipes are not patented, so if you can figure out how your competitor made theirs, you can easily make a knockoff.
**The history of trademark foods, especially forgotten brands, is not easy to piece together. No one really keeps track or pays much attention.