Monthly Archives: October 2015

Trick Season, Treat Season: On Halloween, sisters and candy corn

IMG_5203It is remarkable to me that a food as milquetoast as candy corn is polarizing as the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Candy corn is garbage trash food! Candy corn is delicious and hating on candy corn is the new candy corn! Why is it that people hate candy corn? Let me explain!

No fewer than five different people asked me this week on my thoughts on candy corn, all with the same kind of “this is not really what this question is about” guise as when a Tinder date asks about the last book you read. My two thoughts:

  1. Candy corn is something that I will put into my mouth, chew and eat and that is as much as I really have to say about candy corn. [Ed. note: Though I will note that Indian Native American Indigenous chocolate candy corn is worse and mellowcreme pumpkins are superior.]
  2. If not for candy corn, I would not know what an actual corn kernel looked like, so I will always be grateful for the lesson.

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Trick Season, Treat Season: Breaking off some new pieces

IMG_5202Kit Kat has a penchant for weird flavor combinations. Typically, that’s been reserved for more international fare, but I ran into some Halloween-style combos.

The first of which, pictured above, featured an orange-tinged, white chocolate outer casing with a chocolate filling in between the wafers. Which is another way of saying that it featured an orange-tinged, white chocolate outer casing with it doesn’t matter in between the wafers, because the white chocolateyness of it all overpowered the candy bar.

If you’re a white chocolate fan, man, this bar is for you. Otherwise, give this one to the trick or treaters. They will be excited about the orange and won’t remember it was you.

IMG_5194Now this triple chocolate Kit Kat, on the other hand, tastes … pretty much like a Kit Kat. Highly recommended!

The only demerits this one gets is for simple counting: They swapped out regular-flavored wafers for chocolate wafers and somehow got to three entire chocolates.

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Trick Season, Treat Season: Pun candy gonna pun

IMG_5197This is a Cadbury Creme Egg with a green “yolk” instead of a … well … yolk-colored one. They taste exactly the same [Ed. note: A boon for those of you who like Cadbury Creme Eggs more than I do].

IMG_5200But this one is better.

Because “Screme”.

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Trick Season, Treat Season: They’re selling food for zombies now, apparently

IMG_5193Really, though, Sky Bar stands to make a LOT of money: Their customer base is always growing.

When I passed this at Walgreens, I made a joke to myself. I said, “What, is it chocolate-covered BRAINS?”

I chuckled, very satisfied with my little joke.

Then I read the description that it was actually chocolate-covered brains and felt simultaneously validated and bummed out that a company would actually make a candy bar out of a dad joke.

IMG_5195The good news is that it wasn’t actually brains that were covered in chocolate.

The bad news is that it was just corn syrup with a metric ton of red dye.

IMG_5196

Gah-ross.

It was a bad candy bar. Happy Halloween, diabetic zombies.

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I’m having a great day and this is a post about that. 

  
There’s something different for everyone, certainly, but by my measure, drinking cheap beer in a 50’s pool hall with your favorite people is about as close to damn perfect as life can get.

Trick Season, Treat Season: Guest Bar submissions requested: Let’s talk about Halloween candy

Mornin, frands. We’re approaching the High Holiday of candy: Halloween.

I have some fun planned with my own posts, but I want to extend an invitation to you, my talented and creative readers:
If you want to write something about Halloween, I will publish it in this space. Sure, there has to be mention of a candy bar somewhere in there, but that’s the only requirement.

And, like, really you could just tack “York Peppermint Patty” to the end of an essay on your favorite autumn leaf and I’d run it, so that’s not even much of a requirement.

I’ve been fortunate to have one spectacular Guest Bar this year, but I’d love to have more. Everyone outside of Jehovah’s Witnesses has a Halloween story to share, and even they could probably write something pretty awesome about what it’s like being the kid in class without a costume.

I suppose this is a candy bar blogger’s version of trick or treat. Which means I’ll leave you with this: It’s more fun to put out a bowl or give out toothbrushes than to have your lights off and ignore the doorbell.

So, Pumpkin Spice M&M’s Are A Thing Now

IMG_4674Man, people have a lot of opinions about pumpkin spice stuff.

I … don’t. Somehow. I align with exactly no side in the Great Pumpkin Spice take debate; on a scale of 1-10, where 1 is “Boo, Pumpkin Spice” and 10 is “Hooray, Pumpkin Spice”, I’d put myself at Lasagna.

But, then sometimes you walk past a bag of PSL M&M’s and you have to give it a shot.

The thing is, pumpkin spice and chocolate really aren’t complementary flavors. So what you get is a candy-coated chocolate-cinnamon-nutmeg ball. Which is weird.

I had a couple and didn’t spit them out, so I guess there’s that, but I am going to put the Did Not Like stamp on this bag. The flavors just don’t jibe.

But sometimes they do, pumpkin spice, so don’t let this negative review get you down, nor the mass backlash at your autumnal ubiquity: You keep doing you.

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Au Naturale

IMG_4610I was kinda under the impression that with candy, everyone was in on the understanding that it wasn’t particularly natural.

Yes, there are certainly plants and stuff that produce the sugar cane and the peanuts and the cocoa beans, but, like, you don’t see Snickers trees or Skittles bushes (though their marketing sometimes would suggest otherwise).

Candy is very much processed, the final byproduct of thousands of years of discovery, innovation and throwing lord-knows-what into sugarstuffs to peddle to the masses. A crowning achievement of our species.

Well, as it turns out, there are a few folks out there who have a different impression.

I ran into some all-natural candy bars from Cleo’s and Amy’s [Ed. note: The latter of which, I will note, is a brand that makes the nicest frozen burritos in the game.] in the quinoa section of the grocery store. Intrepid candy bar writer that I am, I scooped them right up and gave them a shot.

IMG_4611Amy’s Creamy (pictured at top)

Full disclosure: I ate this one first because I was intrigued by the word “whipped”.

It was … well, it was ok. Something about the nougat was off, or perhaps it had to do with the caramel. It tasted almost figgish? Perhaps that was where they pulled the sweetness from, in lieu of the chemicals/high fructose corn syrup. It gets a ringing “I didn’t spit it out” endorsement.

I did not notice the level of whip, but I did enjoy the story about Amy’s dad. He seems like a good guy. Probably not as good as my dad, but I bet they would have a good laugh over a malted milk ball.

IMG_4615Amy’s Crunchy

This is more like it. Boom. Some top-notch toffee. Thick, but easy to bite, with an appropriate amount of nuttiness. Just the right consistency, and a swell bit of butteriness. This was my favorite of the bunch.

IMG_4625Cleo’s Peanut Butter Cups

The only bar of these five with the distinction of also being vegan, the Cleo’s cups had me a little nervous. The thing about chocolate is that there’s dairy in there, so I was dubious over whether they could pull it off. Especially because they used the words “milk chocolatey”, insinuating that there would be some sort of milk chocolate facsimile happening around the peanut butter.

My caution was not unfounded — there was definitely some notes of soy going on — but, on the whole, this bar was pretty tasty. What the chocolate lacked, the peanut butter more than made up for. It was thick, creamy and rich: a significant upgrade from the chalky peanut butter of a Reese’s. I think I still preferred the entire package of the latter, but Cleo’s did a nice job with this one.

It also gets points for the Egypt theme, though I don’t really get why they decided to go with it.

IMG_4620Amy’s Crispy

Indistinguishable from a good post-workout protein recovery bar. Which is only a good thing if you’re a post-workout protein recovery bar.

IMG_4624Amy’s Chewy

It’s pretty easy to screw up caramel. Make it too runny, too salty, too chewy, too hard and it’s useless. This caramel is the spot-on perfect consistency, and couples well with the added pecans. Highly recommended.

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