The MAGNUM BAR… it was bound to happen someday

For me, one of the delights of European travel is purchasing something “over there” that is not available at home.   The Magnum Ice Cream Bar is one such item that has kept my European sweet tooth satisfied for many years.  People who have traveled with me know of my passion for the Magnum Classic and how a tour is not complete until I’ve introduced the pleasure to all.

Unfortunately, my Magnum passion changed last week while I was visiting Madrid.  Sitting at an outdoor table on the Plaza Major, I began getting a barrage of emails and texts from back home in Florida.  At first, I thought an emergency must have happened with my family; however, my mind was soon put to at ease as I read the messages.  It seems that the Magnum Bar had made its way across the Atlantic Ocean to Wal-Mart and Target freezer cases everywhere.  My friends were notifying me with excited messages so that I could rush right out and get one.  Little did they know I did not accept the news with their anticipated enthusiasm.

You see, I think there is something almost sacred about the exclusivity of certain products available in Europe, but not in the USA.  On every trip to Europe, I once looked forward to my first Magnum Bar of the tour and my last Magnum Bar of the tour.  I enjoyed reliving the first moment a rookie experiences a Magnum when biting through that rich dark chocolate into the creamy ice-cold center.  I especially enjoyed the moment when my tour group members would come back to the bus and describe their afternoon Magnum Bar adventures.  It’s a sad thing to think those experiences will no longer be a part of my tours!

Plaza Major – Madrid

However, while sitting there in Spain lamenting the non-exclusivity of the now “world-traveled” Magnum Bar, I began thinking of all the special products that no matter how hard someone tried, would never make it to the USA.  That made me happy!  So, from now on,  I’ll use my Magnum Bar story to illustrate the need to “go local” and experience unique products only available in situ, at the location of origin.

What about you?  What are your thoughts about the downfall of the Magnum Bar?  Consider sharing a memory or experience only available “at the location” and which can never be mass produced and exported to the world.

About the Author
David McGuffin established David McGuffin's Exploring Europe, Inc. in 2001 to formally offer European tours. Since then, he has taken several thousand satisfied customers on memorable and educational tours to Europe.
  1. Mikki Reply

    I completely agree, some of the some products just aren’t the same once they cross the ocean. I will never forget the Swiss Chocolate we found and then a while back it was available in the US… it doesn’t taste as good, and it looses some of the excitement when its just at the corner store.

  2. Amanda Reply

    It hurt my heart when I saw Crunchy Bars and Cadbury Flake available in Publix, so I understand your lamenting the Magnum Bar!

  3. Susan McInarnay Reply

    I was excited to see the Magnum Bars in the US, but I do agree with David about his feelings. The US Magnum Bars are smaller and quite simply are not as good. I have enjoyed them all over Europe with David and can remember times when I made sure I had enough Euros left so I could purchase that one last bar of the trip. Can’t wait to get one when I arrive in Spain in a few weeks with David.

  4. James Richardson Reply

    I agree with David, some things are better and should stay local. Sadly, I haven’t had anything local because I haven’t been out of the country and America is comprised of large restaurant chains and food companies. There are very few local treats here. I look forward to the day when I travel somewhere and have something completely exclusive to that region or place.

  5. Laurie Jernigan Reply

    So far, I haven’t had one here in the States, and will probably save mine for Europe…maybe!
    I was very disappointed yesterday though when I was watching the Today Show, and they were comparing “the best” ice cream bars, and didn’t have the Magnum Bar! I couldn’t believe it! ow that is the REAL crime!

  6. Sally Reply

    Gotta agree. The Magnum bars found in the US are small and, well, eating one at my home in Kentucky is nowhere as wonderful as enjoying one while on a David McGuffin trip in the Cinque Terre!

  7. Andee Sue Reply

    Experiencing a culture is always exciting. I’ve always loved arriving in Heathrow knowing my adventures were ready to begin. However, about 15 years ago, I got through Customs and noticed a Starbucks. The homogenization of the world continues…

  8. David McGuffin Reply

    You would not believe how many people have called or emailed me regsrding the “USA” Magnum Bar. I guess I have personally sold a thousand or more people on the chocolate covered creme delight. Eating one in the USA is a real downer.

  9. Joe Reply

    The magnum bar in the US is smaller but it tastes the same. I’ve had it in several countries as far away as South Africa.

  10. carolyn ward Reply

    OK David, you’ll just have to close your eyes and pretend you are in Europe to enjoy one of these. I was very surprised when I saw them but of course I had to buy several boxes of them because you had turned us on to them when we were in Ireland and Italy. Oh MEOW, MEOW, MEOW!!! >^,,^< I'm glad they made it "across the pond" and we'll enjoy them and remember all our fun times when we went on the "Thirsty Travelers Tour" with you last June!

  11. Shy Reply

    I can’t wait to be introduced to this pleasure during my upcoming trip with Mr McGuffin

  12. Lynne Reply

    They might not be as good as the one’s in Europe, but they are still “yummy”!

  13. Nancy Reply

    I have never been there that I haven’t had one (or more) Magnum bars. I will always remember the first trip I went with David after flying all night – we were at the Olympic stadium in Munich, Germany and David introduced the group the Magnum bars.

    • davidmcguffin Reply

      Yes, I remember that day in the Olympic Park. If I remember correctly, Katie called me “such a dork” for making such a big deal out of an ice cream bar. I believe she changed her mind after tasting her first Magmun Bar.

  14. Sally Reply

    Saw a couple in the grocery last night discussing whether to buy these or not and I assured them that they taste much better in Europe.

  15. Katie Carter Reply

    Haha I do recall calling you a dork quite a few times on our trips together but I’ll give you this one, Magnum bars are delish! It kind of breaks my heart that they are so easily attainable now:(

  16. Beth Reply

    David, I just watched your podcast at Cinque Terre and wanted you to know I am sooooo jealous of you wearing a jacket in June. It has been 102 + degrees on my back porch for the last few days and don’t see any evidence of it cooling off. Ugh. Oh wait, I know what will cool me off…..I’ll just head over to Target and get a Magnum Bar! Thanks for the tip.

  17. Klang Reply

    I was very happy to find magnums in the Us but soon after their introduction it seems they have gotten smaller and ice cream seems less dense then the ones I fell in love with in Australia, my wife thinks it may be because of the homogenized milk in the states.

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