Monthly Archives: May 2015

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom

947326_10101455422907780_672808151_nThis is my favorite picture of my mom.

She’s holding court in a clearing somewhere in the wilderness, her young audience propped up on camping chairs, stumps and laps eating out of the palm of her hand. The pointy hoodie, ripped jeans and white sneakers she wore would seem a dated reference of 1991 on anybody else — the kind of thing that the “normcore” movement attempts to pillory these days, or at least I think — but Mom has never looked more beautiful.

Because it’s storytime, dammit, and who gives a shit what you’re wearing. Continue reading

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The Best Reese’s Cup is the Smallest One

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That’s right, friends.

My answer when somebody asks, “How do you eat your Reese’s?”?

“In the smallest form possible.”

As sliders, Munchkins and Bagel Bites have scientifically proven, often times it can be more fun to eat a lot of little versions of something instead of one big version.

I haven’t felt that way when it comes to the new bag-o-mini bars trend; I typically skew towards the “not bad but I’d rather just eat the big one” persuasion.

But Reese’s Minis are the best.

It has most to do with the higher-than-regular chocolate-to-peanut butter ratio (the same ratio that made the Reese’s Egg a standout, albeit in the opposite way). Due to that chocolate, it’s a little more creamy in the way of mouthfeel without sacrificing its peanut-buttery foil, which I think provides a superior tasting experience. I also suspect they’re even better when they’re frozen, but I will confirm that later this summer.

I’m also fairly certain I enjoy them more because I enjoy them longer: Minis are easier to take your time with. I lay waste to the big cups within seconds; it’s hard to put down a half-bitten cup of you’re on your feet — you keep it in your hand, then the chocolate starts to melt on your fingers, and you’re probably wearing a white shirt and you don’t want to risk it, so you finish the rest of the cup before you have a chance to really savor the first bite. The Minis, though, are easy enough to pop one-by-one on a stroll through a warm spring drizzle.

They’re easier to share, too. Nobody wants to see a chocolate thumbprint on the split-in-half regular size cup they were just handed; with Minis, you can just shake one or two out and pass. And if there’s one thing we here at Breaking Off A Piece support, it’s an easy-sharing candy bar.

When it comes to peanut butter cup, give me a mini over a regular. Everyday All day long.

[Ed. note: Okay, you got me. I just threw that last sentence in there because this song is on fire and I want an entire album of hip-hop songs with Rod Stewart samples:


That Mark Ronson guy who just popped up all of the sudden seems like he might be game to get it done. Hopefully he’s a reader. If so, Mark, make this happen. And thank you for reading. And sorry that I said you just popped up all of the sudden I’m sure you have had a long career and worked tirelessly to attain the level of success you are now experiencing. And thank you for whatever you did on the song above because it has made my week.]

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Caramell-oh boy!

IMG_4017Caramellos have always sort of been there.

Never really advertised nor lusted after, yet a mainstay enough in the Walgreens’ candy aisle that I knew they were always an option.

[Ed. note: Apparently they were advertised at one point. In a … terrifying … manner.]

In the past week, I’ve stumbled onto three.

I don’t know how they found me, but they did. I can’t say I’m mad.

Tasting Notes

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Caramello 1 (a Gift Bar from the wonderful Jules Bar): Euro style

– These buggers. With their wrappers. And their CDM-style, smooth-ass chocolate.

Such convenience.

Such convenience.

– Just top-notch. I’d prefer if the caramel were a little less stringy/runny, but this is a winner right here. Also it’s rich enough that you don’t necessarily want to eat the whole thing in one sitting, which is where that swell wrapper comes in handy.

Caramello 2: U.S. style (pictured at top)

– Given my preference for CDM chocolate over standard U.S. chocolate, I was prepared for an inferior candy bar.
– I misjudged.
– The chocolate tastes and feels almost the same as the Euro-style bar. It might be, only very slightly, a little less milky in the chocolate department, but not a difference worth making a big deal about, especially compared to traditional American chocolate bar.
– Didn’t these things use to have a brown, red and yellow wrapper? What happened, guys?

IMG_4016Caramello 3: At Trader Joe’s

– This is a good candy bar.
– It’s just not as good as the Cadbury kind.
– The chocolate was a little darker, a little waxier. Much more American-style, which highlights the contrast and slight saltiness of the caramel well.
– I am starting to think I’m becoming a CDM fanboy.

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WTF Are These? Starburst Minis, Hershey’s Caramels

IMG_4012True fact: It was seeing Starburst Minis at a CVS that got me to realize how out-of-touch I was in the realm of candy bars and talk about it with Alex Bar, a conversation from which came the genesis of Breaking Off A Piece.

For something of such historical significance, I sure do wish I liked them more.

Tasting Notes

– They are of a slightly different consistency than a typical Starburst. A little less chewy, a little more taffy-y. I suspect this has something to do with trying to prevent them from sticking together … but it’s off-putting.
– As one coworker described, “It tastes like medicine. And that’s why I like it.”
– The standard four Starburst flavors are included, but each one tastes … only mostly like the real thing. Starburst Minis are like Dr. Thunder.

IMG_4013– Nothing fancy about Hershey’s Caramels [Ed. note: Aside from the cursive script on the wrapper]; it’s straight caramel and chocolate.
– Similar to what you’d find in a box of chocolates [Ed. note: If you were to select a caramel one, of course.]; the caramel is solid and chewy, but not so much that you have to strain to bite only a portion.
– Thumbs-up here. I don’t think I’d go out of my way to buy one, but it’s a nice little treat.

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A Passage From a Novel Without Any Context: Vol. 4

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“I’m not a suspect, am I?”

Diana was puzzled. She wasn’t a thief. She hadn’t stolen anything since high school, when she would take quarters from the little charity display next to the register at Baskin-Robbins, salty when customers would neglect to acknowledge the effort it took to make their milkshake but instead award 25 cents to picture of the allegedly afflicted girl who had been there for years. Her name was Alison, come to think of it; she had leukemia.

But there he was. This policeman at her door. Asking her about her roommate from 3 years ago.

“If you were, I probably wouldn’t tell you. But no, you’re not a suspect. We’re just trying to gather as much information about Miss Havisham as we can. You never know what clues and leads present themselves when people start talking about common acquaintances and other kinds of everyday context. Continue reading

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Look at my kitchen table

IMG_4004Happy weekend, friends. I’ve got a mega Passage From A Novel Without Context planned for tomorrow that will cover all the candy I’ve been eating for the past two weeks.

Before that publishes, though, I would like to formally appreciate all of who have been sending Gift Bars my way from all of the corners of the world. I’ve received packages from no fewer than six of you, from places as far as Abu Dhabi, Thailand, South Dakota, England and Hershey, Pa.

Thank you, very genuinely. I can’t wait to dive into all of this sweet, weird candy.

And also clear some of this off of my kitchen table because goodness if I people didn’t already think I was crazy …

IMG_4010Tasting Notes

– The Nestle Coffee Crisp was just splendid. Very wafery, with a hint of coffee and just the right amount of CDM-style chocolate.
– It was a very light bar. I felt like a skinny cow.

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