Category Archives: Candy Bar or Candy Baren’t

Frozen (long) Week(end): An Ode to the Ice Cream Sandwich

IMG_4572[Ed. note: It’s a baren’t. We are all on the same page on this.]

It is the last day of summer and I would like to take a moment to celebrate the goddamn ice cream sandwich.

It … it is a perfect dessert.

On the surface, it seems kinda dumb, right? The cookie is a poor excuse for a wafer, much less a cookie, and the ice cream is best for describing a watered-down way of playing defense.

But holy hell if the combination of the two isn’t the damn definition of “better than the sum of their parts”.

And you notice more when there’s less to notice.

The silent thp from the first bite when the cookies are fresh and crisp. The almost-fuzzy remnants on your thumbs when you’re done and it isn’t. The wax-paper wrapper and that everyone knows exactly what that is when you hand them one. The way on a July day that the ice cream squishes out the side and drips on your towel. The understanding that no, this isn’t traditionally a breakfast food, but fk it that is exactly what is about to happen.

The ice cream sammie is a portable piece of summer. Until next year, friend-o.

[Ed. note: /until next Tuesday, because who are we kidding here.]

[Ed. note 2: And get out of here, neapolitan. You can come on back in when you can commit to something.]

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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.


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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Candy Bar or Candy Baren’t: Asparagus


We all know this has been coming from the moment I started this little experiment.

Easily the most contentious disagreements I’ve had this year have been surrounding whether something is or isn’t a candy bar.

I know a lot of you don’t believe in my definition.

… But I also know a lot of you have eaten asparagus before.

And despite its unconventional format, despite the fact that it’s found in the produce aisle, despite that it pretty definitely needs to be cooked before you eat it, I don’t know anybody who could deny “Nature’s Candy” its rightful classification as 100% fking candy bar.

I mean, do you not have tastebuds?

Have you never had a medley where you were disappointed that the ‘gus [Ed. note: You know I’m pronouncing it “goose”.] got thrown in? Have you never been eating a fine risotto and said, “You know what wouldn’t make this better? Some bitchin-ass spears of my green friend asparagus.”?

Have you never had a bad day and just gone to the grocery store and chomped on some asparagus heads, letting go as your pains give way to their succulent, fibrous texture?

Guys, this is asparagus we are talking about. Not a jawbreaker. Not a granola bar.


You’re certainly allowed to disagree with me. You are entitled to your opinion and your own personal definition of “candy bar”. You are welcome to cast asparagus among jelly beans and fruit snacks.

Just as I am welcome to call you a Philistine. Continue reading

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It’s Bunny Season: My Peeps Like To Party

I like to picture Peeps in a tuxedo T-shirt because it says, like, “I wanna be formal, but I’m here to party too” because I like to party and I like my Peeps to party, too.

I like my Peeps to look like a birthday cake backstage at a Kesha concert.

I like my Peeps to tell their mom that they’re going to Madison’s to stay overnight but really be sneaking into a Zedd’s Dead show with a fake ID the night before New Year’s Eve.

I like my Peeps to be picked up off the ground of a Boystown street in June.

I like my Peeps to have “Costume accessory, Saturday Night Fever” on their resume. 

I like my Peeps to bring the flask to the art museum.

I like my Peeps to say things like, “I’m not sure, but this dealer’s never let me down before.”

I like my Peeps to know the spots in Panama City Beach where locals go.

I like my Peeps to learn their first big life lesson after they lose $600 buying counterfeit Tomorrowland tickets.

I like my Peeps to taste best if you eat them under a black light.


Tasting Notes

– They’re Peeps, man.
– There is a very slight vanilla flavoring, it tastes like a faint bit of frosting or cake batter.
– The glitter coloring provides a slightly smoother mouthfeel compared to it’s more granular forefathers. A nice little treat.

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Candy Bar or Candy Baren’t: Keebler Fudge Sticks Jumbo

IMG_3564IMG_3566Keebler doesn’t make candy bars. They make cookies.

Little elves ‘n stuff, you know? Do you think the tree where they’re confined houses not only a bakery school but also a confectionery school? Please. The only real skill they have with chocolate is in haphazardly adding it when they’ve baked a substandard cookie.

Oh, did I go too far? Have you ever had an E.L. Fudge without the fudge? It’s edible, but otherwise, it’s a pretty shitty cookie. The don’t call it E.L. Cookies. There’s a reason for that. (Mad props to my Magistra for ensuring I was exposed to E.L. Fudge enough to be able to make those jokes.)

That being said … what happens when Keebler *does* make a candy bar? Continue reading

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Candy Bar or Candy Baren’t: Necco Wafers

IMG_3540[Ed. note: Candy Bar or Candy Baren’t will be a running feature in which I will eat candy bars that are on the fringe of candy baredom. Discussion in the comments is encouraged.]

[Ed. note 2: Yes, I realize that it’s a horrible name. Alternative suggestions welcomed and recommended.]

So, here’s the thing: Necco Wafers are fking disgusting. Continue reading

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