Monthly Archives: June 2015

A Candy Bar Superstructed, Deconstructed

IMG_4193It’s been a pretty good week. I mean, look at that fking thing.

That’s a Milka Oreo, i.e. an Oreo turned inside-out and stuffed the fk into a delicious European chocolate bar.

I have been basking in its glory for the past week and a half, ever since my friend Katie Bar brought it back from her jaunt through the Mediterranean.

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Really though just look at it you can’t turn away can you nope.

The Milka Oreo (though likely a baren’t, according to the established definition) is a dessert with a higher percentage of dessert than most [Ed. note: 127% dessert, to be exact]. And that extra dessert pays off: The embedded cookie takes the bar to spectacular heights … so much so that it’s vaguely off-putting? It’s so good that it’s almost unnatural, like if Frankenstein’s monster were to enter an arm-wrestling contest — of course it’s going Over The Top, it’s been specifically engineered to.

Tasting note-wise, its white creme layers — tuxedoed stripes of friendship and delight — consist of less the type of creme found in an Oreo cookie and more the vanilla-ey ganache found in this Lindt from a month or so ago. This is important to note, as they keep the bar texture uniform so the crispiness of the bitter chocolate cookie can illuminate the candy bar experience like everyone wants it to.

In this case, an augmentation of an already-damn-good dessert takes the candy bar experience to a different level. So too, though, can a reduction.

I was #blessed to encounter the latter on a recent dinner visit to The Dawson [Ed. note: Go. Get an Irish coffee regardless of your company, mood and the temperature outside, and thank me.] with the aforementioned Katie Bar and the previously ne’ermentioned Andi Bar.

When our charming bartender/server placed her employer’s dessert menu on the barrel that served as our table, I was full and fixin’ for an express ride to pajamatown, content to take a pass on sweets. I can’t say what got me to scan the menu [Ed. note: Current power rankings: 1. Dessert; 2. An excuse to continue talking with charming bartender/server; 3. The prospect of having to move], but it didn’t take long to sell me.

IMG_4189Did you see it?

IMG_4195Sweet Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters, would you look at that. We ordered the hell out of it.

[Ed. note: Yeah, this one doesn’t get past the register either. Whoops. It has “candy bar” in its name, at least.]

IMG_4190As wonderful as the Milka Oreo was on account of its superstruction, so too was the Salted Candy Bar on account of its deconstruction: By choosing what parts to eat when, I became more engaged with the taste and appreciate its different elements. The nougat, presented as interspersed crumbles instead of the uniform layer found in traditional bars, danced differently with the ganache than it did the cake, and it was a great time exploring to see where it was most effective. [Ed. note: The conclusion to that exploration: Everywhere, actually. Outside of that pretentious-ass sentence.] The mousse/panna cotta section at its center was a lot of fun. There were pretzelstuffs.

It was so good. Surely more than the sum of its parts (At least, I think, so long as my understanding of what a “croquant” is is accurate). Both this and the Milka Oreo come with my highest recommendation.

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Happy Father’s Day

IMG_4181Dad’s the one who showed me how to conquer mountains.

Today he wanted a Milky Way.

Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads, dads-to-be, dads departed (tu me manques, Grand Pere) and dads-facsimile.

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A Word on Capacity

IMG_4167My least favorite part of having a weekly column in a newspaper was figuring out what to say when I didn’t have anything to say.

There were many times when I just wanted to not turn anything in, to take a week off because guh wouldn’t that be so much easier than spinning 15 more inches out of nothing? 

Of course, I always came to that conclusion too close to deadline to be able to do that, my space already allotted and my small handful of readers patiently awaiting in such a manner that I’d inevitably crank something out. Some of those columns actually turned out pretty well; others, predictably, dead on arrival. 

But, spare one or two exceptions, I kept putting them out because that was what I had committed myself to.

I made a commitment with this project, too: To eat a different candy bar each day and write about it.

As you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t written anything in this space since Mother’s Day. I’ll also willfully admit that over the past few weeks, there have been a significant amount of days when I didn’t eat a different candy bar.

I’ve broken my commitment. And, while this might not inspire much reader dedication, I’m ok with having done that at the moment.

During the past two months, my professional workload, quantitatively, has been greater than any I’ve had experience with. I needed to stay more hours at my day job to get things done, and while my bar gig was and still is a net happiness for me, it was also a guaranteed 18-20 more hours of time committed to something other than Not Being At Work.

I’ve never had any problem with working hard and working all the time — it is fitting that this post is coming the day before Father’s Day, because I attribute that quality to my old man — in the past, its only negative consequences have been less availability to be social and the dropping of Survivor and Top Chef as regularly scheduled programming.

But where there really hadn’t been any effects of working that much in the past, I’ve started to feel the tread wearing off the tire.

I stopped writing here and exercising regularly; it seemed what little time I had free would be better spent on seeing people and/or doing laundry. 

There was one particular evening when, after a rough day at my day job, I got home and didn’t really want to do anything except get into bed and go to sleep. A long phone call with an old friend cheered me up, but I realized the next morning that that was the kind of thing that they warn you about in Zoloft commercials.

I needed to make a change. I put my two weeks’ in at the bar three days later. [Ed. note: I’m still going to be picking shifts up here and there, but not nearly at the rate I once was, and not for a little while.]

Today is the first Saturday in a very, very long time where I am experiencing what adults have taken to calling “a regular weekend”.

And it’s pretty wonderful.

I apologize for my little break and for breaking my commitment. [Ed. note: I’m assuming you’ll accept my apology; if not, you’re welcome to enjoy all the other candy bar blogs out there.] But things are better now. 

I’m back, and I will be resuming my sweet adventure starting today. Maybe not as regularly, but resuming nonetheless.

Here’s to the rest of the year.

[Ed. note: Mom I know you’re reading this and it has probably freaked you the fk out, but I assure you I am very well and I am really more than anything just super excited to make jokes about nougat again.]

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Tasting Notes

– Cheeky theme-appropriate name aside, the Take 5 is really just a powerhouse of a fking candy bar. 

– I have never not been satisfied after eating one of these suckers. Their flavor profile is just so perfect. Subtle saltiness from the peanut butter and pretzel, varied crunchiness from the pretzel versus the peanut. A two-bite self-contained capsule of delight that is easy to share or save for later.

– Top 3 among the macroconfectionary bars. Yes I just invented that word. But you know what I mean. 

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