Category Archives: Awkward Candy Moments

Something for the Rest of Us

In honor of Westivus Weekend, allow me to air a couple of grievances. [Ed. note: Early, of course, which in and of itself is actually my first grievance.]

I got a LOTTA PROBLEMS with this candy. 

  1. “Iddy biddy”?
  2. Iddy.
  3. Biddy. 
  4. How you going to call them “iddy biddy” and not also call them “widdle”?
  5. People who use the word “widdle”
  6. The voice people use when they use the word “widdle”
  7. 60 Santas (approximately)! What an unorthodox (approximate) number! [Ed. note: I can only assume there will be more widdle Santas, like when they throw extra screws in Ikea furniture]
  8. Approximations
  9. Unorthodox approximations
  10. IKEA furniture
  11. That they don’t throw in more things like when they throw extra screws in Ikea furniture
  12. That apparently counting the widdle Santas in O’Hare is something worth staring at
  13. That there were EXACTLY 60 widdle Santas.
  14. 60 widdle Santas. I wish I were kidding.

  15. Precise, accurate unorthodox approximations
  16. Wrapper images that are actual size
  17. The need to justify enlarged images on wrappers by telling consumers it’s “for texture”
  18. That these are pretty much just eating an individual bag of chocolate chips
  19. That stupid shit about the Reese’s Trees
  20. That they don’t sell individual bags of chocolate chips

Happy Festivus weekend everybody. 

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    “Oh, you want weird?”

    [Ed. note: In honor of Max Bar‘s birthday, I missed a flight this morning and, as a result, am on a layover in Cincinnati. There is a candy store near the food court.]

    “Sorry if all you smell is perfume. I was just trying on a bunch of it before over there and now it smells like perfume everywhere.”

    “Don’t worry about it. I can’t smell a thing.”

    [Ed. note: I could smell a thing.]

    “That’s a lot of candy. Someone’s got a sweet tooth!”

    “Heh. Yup. I eat a lot of candy.”

    “Looking for anything in particular?”

    “Not really … well … Do you have any weird candy? Like stuff you can’t find at most places you’d buy candy?”

    “Oh, you want weird?”

    Without any hesitation, the clerk walks over to a display, picks up and hands me this:


    [Ed. note: I … I … suppose we have to get married?]


    Tasting notes

    Tabasco Spicy Chocolate (pictured above)

    – Remarkable. Try this if you see it anywhere.

    – Up front, it was just dark chocolate, but after a little while, the back of my throat started to burn. Tasted nothing like Tabasco.

    Big Hunk (pictured above)

    – A peanut-flavored taffy, which would have been weird even if it hadn’t been used to hit on me.

    – It did provide a good cure for the Snack Attack, tho.

    [Ed. note: If you’re wondering, I did indeed Bust It, Smack It and Break It To Pieces. The people in this food court are giving me the best looks. One guy has a cowboy hat on!]

    Ice Cubes

    – Not actually ice cubes. Just weirdly soft chocolate.


    – Whoever named this candy must really like Zs.

    – Fizz bombs akin to the fizzy Warheads.

    Giant Chewy Sweet Tarts

    – I did not enjoy chewing on that trivet. 

    Round Up candy cigarettes

    – Pretty dull, but man did I ever feel cool eating them.  


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    Tops, Twirl and the United Arab Emirates

    IMG_4437Full forewarning: This is going to be one of my longer posts. It’s going to end with me hunched over a public granite sittin’ place, grateful for my life, blowing on a toy and realizing there is a very attractive woman in a pantsuit observing me as though I was a science project.

    If that is not your cup of ginger ale, you might as well stop reading here.

    The story begins, well shoot, probably back in college, where I met two women who would end up having a profound impact on the person I’ve become today. One of those, Marin Bar, had as much to do with me sticking on the Missouri club rowing team as anyone short of my coach and my doofus partner-in-crime; that team grew me right up and taught me the meaning of dedication, camaraderie and responsibility … all things I learned through osmosis trying to follow Marin’s lead. The other, McBarsney? She only stuck her neck out and taught me the basic job functions and knowledge base to successfully attain an open position at her newspaper — a position for which I was woefully underqualified and a position upon which I was able to build a middling career.

    Because the universe has a fun way of connecting talented and wonderful people, both Marin and McBarsney ended up half a world away in Abu Dhabi, UAE, dropping their brand of bop all upside the Middle Eastern media scene. True Breakers Off of Pieces [Ed. note: There has to be a better name for BOaP fans. It might just be “readers”.], the two of them were kind enough to send a first-care-package-from-Mom-freshman-year-of-college-sized parcel of regional Gift Bars my way featuring a number of the fun sweets they come across on a daily basis in the UAE.

    Thank you, gals, for everything. Here are my thoughts on the sweets you encounter on a daily basis:


    Sometimes you just gotta twirl. A Cadbury product, the Twirl is very similar to a Flake, only instead of having its thin, rippled chocolate exposed to the dangers of the world, it’s encased in another layer of chocolate, which lends to a less-messy eating experience. Thumbs up on that one.

    Also, somehow, the entire bar tasted very similar to a Little Debbie Swiss Cake Roll. Obviously without the cake and the creme and the little white cardboard tray underneath, but a Swiss Cake Roll nonetheless. Top marks. Continue reading

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    It’s Bunny Season: Lesser-Known Siblings

    IMG_3859The Cadbury Creme Egg and the Peep are iconographic Easter candies. They are front and center around this time of year and easy to find. They are the Peyton Mannings of their respective candy families.

    But both have Coopers among their brood. (Don’t even get me started on that villain Eli.)

    It’s important to remember that the Cadbury Mini Egg and the chocolate-covered mega-Peep, while oft-overlooked, are still probably better at football than most candies.

    Tasting Notes


    – The mini-eggs are very reminiscent of an egg-like M&M, only with CDM chocolate inside and a matte finish instead of a glossy.
    – They’re less melty than an M&M but smoother in composition.
    – They taste nothing like a Cadbury Creme Egg.


    – Straight up, this is better than a Peep.
    – Does that make the regular Peep the Eli of the family? This one is definitely Peyton. Or Archie. Perhaps Party Peep is Eli.
    – Can’t wait to call him Party Peep. Forever.


    Awkward Candy Moments

    “That is $17 of Easter candy. Great variation, too. You are about to have a good afternoon, aren’t you?”

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    “That’s Definitely the Record, Man”

    IMG_3823“So, are we going to talk to them or what?”

    “Dude, you know I don’t do openers.”

    “I know.”


    “So, we think the both of you are absolutely adorable. Can we buy you a drink?”

    (squinting in recognition) “Were the two of you at CVS earlier today? And, like, fighting over him buying you a candy bar?

    [Ed. note: Any input/suggestions on better openers is welcome and encouraged.]

    ****** Continue reading

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    “Havin’ a movie night?”

    IMG_3675It took a five-minute drive from the exit after the Iron Skillet on I-94 in Wisconsin to find, but the gas station convenience mart had a phenomenal candy bar aisle.

    After a seven-minute perusal, I carried my bounty with both hands. There were only one and a half people in the checkout line at the mart, a young mother and her little girl. One had a handful of scratch-offs, another sported a baseball cap made of denim.

    They paid, then turned to leave. I smiled and nodded as they walked past me to the door. The mom smiled back with eyes squinted in perplexion.

    The girl looked a little jealous.

    The bell on the door jingled as I dropped my cornucopia of sweets onto the counter. The checkout gal looks at me.

    “Havin’ a movie night?”

    “Ah … no. Heh, just have a bad … just, uh, work for a candy company. Always am bringin’ stuff in to the boys for inspiration.”

    “Ah, that’s a fun job to have!”

    “Yeah, it’s uh, a real tough business to break into, but the perks are pretty good.”

    “What’s it called?”

    “It’s, um, a … It’s called (cough) sorry … um, BlackHawk Candies. … “It’s a startup in Chicago.”

    “Oh. Great.”

    “That’ll be $27.38.”

    Continue reading

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    Trader Joe’s: Checkout Gals, Dogfriends, Pop Rocks and Percentages

    IMG_3584 IMG_3585Last Sunday afternoon, I walked up to the checkout aisle at Trader Joe’s with a handbasket full of sweets, cinnamon rolls and two boxes of cookies. The gal at the aisle smiled at me, then we had this exchange:

    Me: “Oh hey der. Are you open?”

    Checkout Gal: “Yup! Did you find everything you were looking for?”

    Me: “I did. Mostly candy bars.”

    Checkout Gal: (forced chuckles) “Well, we do have those.”

    Me: “I know!”

    (She picks up the box of cookies for scanning purposes, revealing the 15 or so candy bars at the bottom of the basket)

    Checkout Gal: “OH SHIT you weren’t kidding.”

    Me: “Uh, nope.”

    (Checkout Gal looks at me inquisitively.)

    Me: “I, um, have a bit of a sweet tooth. … And my New Year’s resolution is to eat a candy bar every day this year.”

    Checkout Gal: “That’s a good resolution, I guess.”

    (I smile.)

    Me: “Better than most I’ve made, I must say.”

    Checkout Gal: “That will be $35.[whatever the change was].”

    Aaaaand scene. Continue reading

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