The Truth About The Chocolate Bars In Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

For anyone with a sweet tooth, the 1971 film "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" depicts the ultimate dream come true: a chocolate factory with room after room of incredible chocolate and candy creations. Not to mention a massive chocolate river flowing through the place! Sure, there were some unnervingly dangerous contraptions as well, and a very freaky boat ride, but it's safe to say that most kids would risk all this, and even risk turning into a blueberry, just to get a chance to experience that sugar-filled utopia. 

Fueled by nostalgia and perhaps a sugar high, fans of the movie are always on the lookout for original props from "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory." On an episode of "Pawn Stars" (via YouTube), shop owner Rick Harrison was tickled to find a collection of several props, including the hat Gene Wilder wore in his role as Willy Wonka, a golden chocolate egg, and best of all, an "everlasting gobstopper." Though it wasn't discussed in the episode, the shiny gobstopper looks like it probably isn't real candy but made of plastic or ceramic. 

Okay, so maybe one piece of candy on the set was fake, but surely the film's coveted, chocolaty Wonka Bars were real, right? As Harrison picks up a stack of Wonka Bars among the props in the collection, the owner of the collection drops a bombshell.

Was any of the candy on the movie set real?

In the "Pawn Stars" segment, it's revealed that the Wonka Bars were actually only pieces of wood (via YouTube). While disappointing, it does make sense. Real chocolate bars probably wouldn't have survived all the scenes in the movie of people scrambling to grab every last one in the hopes of scoring a golden ticket. But what does that mean for the rest of the candy shown in the chocolate factory

To celebrate the film's 50th anniversary, several of the actors who played the Golden Ticket-winning children in "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory," sat down for an interview with Collider, reflecting on their experience making this movie. They were asked the question that we were all thinking after watching that movie as kids: How much of that candy did they get to eat? Actor Peter Ostrum, who played Charlie Bucket, revealed the devastating truth. "I would say there was a surprising lack of candy," he said. While the food they actually ate on-screen was mostly real, he explained that during the Chocolate Room scene where all the kids ran around trying candy, only a tiny portion of the gummy bear that was bitten into (the ear) was real while the rest of the prop was fake. 

The lickable wallpaper may have been the worst

In the interview with Collider, Peter Ostrum and the other actors who played the kids on the fateful tour of Willy Wonka's factory shared what was and definitely was not edible on the movie set. Michael Bollner, who played the chocolate river-doomed Augustus Gloop, said that the donuts available on set were very good. Mike TeeVee actor Paris Themmen was particularly fond of the taffy that was used to simulate chewing gum, as well as leaf-shaped gummy candies. Themmen did lament that even though the movie was filmed in Europe with plenty of fine chocolatiers all around them, the producers had Hershey's chocolates, Mounds, and Almond Joys delivered from across the pond for the actors instead.

While there were a few delectable treats on the set filled with fake candy and wooden chocolate bars, there were a couple of things that the actors had to try that they really didn't like. Julie Dawn Cole, who played nasty Veruca Salt, said in an interview with Chuck the Movieguy (shared on YouTube) that she hated the treat her character tried in the chocolate room: a melon-like shell holding thick chocolate. Incredibly, Cole said that at the time she couldn't stand chocolate! But she had to pretend to love it while the camera was rolling. 

And what about that lickable wallpaper scene? Both Ostrum and Cole agreed in that interview that the wallpaper didn't taste like fruit or even snozzberries. "It tasted like wallpaper," Cole said.