(WYTV) – Hershey once made a chocolate bar that no one really wanted to eat. It didn’t taste very good at all — deliberately.
In 1937, the U.S. Amy asked the Hershey Corporation to produce a special chocolate bar for the troops. It wanted a four-ounce bar with 600 calories, but it had to withstand high temperatures in case our troops had to carry it around in the desert or the tropics.
It was meant to be an emergency ration. The Army called it a D ration and eating three at a time would give you 1,800 calories to keep you going.
But the Army had another curious request — it couldn’t taste too good or the troops would gobble it down right away. After all, it’s chocolate candy.
To quote the Army request, this Hershey bar had to taste “a little better than a boiled potato.”
Hershey said, “Sure,” and used chocolate and sugar. But it put in cocoa fat instead of cocoa powder, skim milk powder instead of milk fat, and oat flour.
This Army Hershey bar was difficult to bite into and tasted terrible. It wasn’t very kind to your digestive system either.
During World War II, our soldiers came to call it “Hitler’s Secret Weapon.”
It did have one advantage — if you had dysentery, you could eat it and tolerate it.
Finally, our soldiers realized civilians overseas didn’t know any better and they could trade their disgusting D ration chocolate bars for something they might really want.