Food & Drink

Hail to the Bing, Baby


Homely and handmade, the Twin Bing is an Iowan’s favorite treat

Words by COURTENAY BOUVIERPHOTOGRAPHY BY KELSEY MCCLELLAN

Wildsam

Updated

8 Jan 2024

Reading Time

2 Minutes

PROVIDED YOU’RE IN THE Upper Midwest, a Twin Bing is likely the last made-by-hand chocolate bar you can buy at a convenience-store counter. As such, no two look alike — which you’ll notice, since each package holds a pair, two hashy little hillocks of chocolate and chopped peanuts cloaking a creamy magenta center. The coating is almost more nuts than chocolate, and the nougat-fondant middle, nestled slightly askew in its brown haystack, is cherry-flavored, a tart and creamy contrast to the zesty chocolate crunch.

Where to Find

PALMER’S OLDE TYME CANDY SHOPPE, in Sioux City, an outlet of Twin Bing originator Palmer Candy, run by the founder’s great-great- grandson. The company maintains a Twin Bing Finder on Google Maps.

➁ GET-N-GO, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, across the interstate from where Fernson Brewing Company brews a seasonal Twin Bing Stout.

➂ HY-VEE, at the Sioux City Southern Hills Mall, where a manager built a sculpture of more than 15,000 Bings in 2001.

➃ Ubiquitious CASEY’S convenience stores, originator of another great Iowa gas-station delicacy: breakfast pizza

Truly, no brand-name bar tastes anything like a Twin Bing.

These curious artifacts of the confectioner’s art are hand-shaped and-dipped in Sioux City, Iowa, by the same family company that introduced them in 1923. Back then, they were just Bings — the candy loaves rolled solo until 1969 — and came in maple, vanilla, pineapple, and cherry varieties. These days, limited-edition flavors come and go (think s’mores or peanut butter), but of the OGs, only cherry endures. For generations of Iowans, the homespun mound of a Twin Bing evokes nostalgia and a sense of place, the romance of fertile plains and windswept prairies.

(And yeah, maybe a cow chip?)

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