The Military-Grade Hershey Bar That Tasted 'A Little Better Than A Boiled Potato'

What's the first brand that comes to mind when you hear the word "chocolate?" It always has been and more than likely always will be Hershey's. And there's a good reason for that. Of course, the chocolate company has been around for a long time — since 1894, per Hershey. But since then, Hershey's has been doing more than just selling what is often thought of as one of the U.S.'s favorite candy bars. The brand has had an active part in American history.

For example, when the U.S. fell into economic collapse during the Great Depression, the Hershey company created jobs for downtrodden Americans by building the Hershey Theatre, Hershey Hotel, and Hershey Park, per Hershey. So when America was gearing up to possibly enter World War II, is it any surprise that Hershey did too? The brand helped the stars and stripes get ready to fight, alright. And it did it by making a military-grade chocolate bar that's flavor was duller than a well-seasoned baked potato, via Mental Floss

Why Hershey made the most tasteless candy bar on record for the military

According to Mental Floss, the troops were fed lackluster-tasting Hershey chocolate bars for good reason. As the outlet reports, in 1937, we may not have joined World War II yet, but the government was already preparing supplies in case our soldiers did have to enter the fray. And Captain Paul Logan was charged with one of the most important tasks of all — making sure our boys could eat war-appropriate Hershey's chocolate bars on the battlefield.

As Mental Floss reports, when Captain Logan came to Hershey's, he told the company that a military-approved candy bar would have to meet some pretty strenuous requirements. To be ration-ready, Hershey's would need to design a chocolate treat that was around four ounces, wouldn't melt in hot temperatures, and could fill the troops with a ton of calories. But most importantly, it couldn't be as delicious as a Hershey bar from the grocery store. In fact, Logan reported that the military-grade candy needed to "taste a little better than a boiled potato."

A strange request, sure, but Logan (and the military) knew what they were doing. If the bars were delectable, our soldiers would likely be tempted to eat them for pleasure rather than for emergencies. And so Hershey took all of these requirements into account and created the D Ration Bar.

All about the Hershey bar that tasted like anything but chocolate

So then, what exactly went into the military–sanctioned Hershey bar that would become a staple in soldiers' ration supply packs? Made from chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, skim milk powder, and oat flour, the D Ration Bar was a piece of candy (and we use the word loosely) so thick that Hershey's originally had to mold it by hand because its equipment wasn't able to properly form the bar, per History. Despite its girth, the bar was, in fact, four ounces, and one serving of it provided a whopping 600 calories. And according to History, our soldiers certainly weren't at risk of eating their D Ration Bars before a big battle. Because the bar's flavor was absolutely abominable.

As History noted, these Hershey bars tasted like pure, bitter, dark chocolate. And because they were so thick, soldiers couldn't even bite into them. They reportedly had to cut up the candy with a knife to eat it. Unsurprisingly, many soldiers were in the habit of throwing their D Ration Bars in the trash. However, despite the general hatred the troops had towards the Hershey's made ration, Hershey's not only created another version of its D Bar that could handle the pacific heat for those battling in the territory but made 3 billion ration bars by the time World War II ended.