Tag Archives: hershey’s

Pick literally anything else to be angry about

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No fewer than four independent people sent me a link to stories about people being mad about the shape of this year’s crop of Reese’s Trees, the cups’ Christmas seasonal shape varietal similar to the pumpkins and eggs of Halloween and Easter, respectively.

It seems the detail on the sides is not up to snuff.

That’s it. Apparently it resembles a turd. Because the edges aren’t jaggy enough.

Bruh. Continue reading

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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.

Continue reading

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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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Frozen Week: Reese’s Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cup

IMG_4570All I was expecting out of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cup was some peanut butter ice cream surrounded by a cup-shaped chocolate shell.

Which would have been outstanding.

But upon first bite [Ed. note: /or upon first reading of the box, had that been something I’d done], I discovered that there was also a thin ribbon of actual peanut butter dispersed throughout the ice cream bar.

Game done changed.

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Peanut butter ribbon visible on the right side of the cup.

Nah, game the same; it just got more fierce.

This is a simple, subtle and altogether wonderful ice cream novelty for anybody who’s a fan of peanut butter ribbons.

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Frozen Week: Celebrating the last week of summer with an objective taste-test

IMG_4490So, um, Labor Day’s next week.

Summer’s always too short! You turn around and it’s gone! However did this happen? #lovesummer

As a chronic sweater and autumn’s #1 fan, I’ve never felt particularly aligned with the widespread sadness that comes the end of the 3-4 hottest months of the year. But, as I’ve gotten older and better understood the despair that comes along with hoofing it to work on a 3-degree day in March, I’ve grown to appreciate the various joys of summer.

Beer gardens. The smell of sunscreen. Shorts, tank tops, sundresses and seersucker. Iced coffee. One of my two annual dental checkups.

Frozen candy bars.

They really aren’t as satisfying during the rest of the year, are they? I have fond memories of gnawing on frozen Snickers bars with my dad while playing golf on family vacation, or of throwing melting, near-death Reese’s from the freezer and not waiting for them to thaw. That shit doesn’t fly in November.

To celebrate the last week of summer, I’m throwing [Ed. note: Holding? Declaring? Embarking upon?] Breaking Off A Piece’s newest theme week: Frozen Week.

Let’s let it go, guys.

To kick things off, I wanted to take a serious damn look at frozen candy bars. Earlier in the month, one of my favorite Twitter follows — Grantland’s Bill Barnwell — posed a great question.

I replied to him, but given my self-assigned authority on the subject, I felt pretty silly not having a more scienticically informed answer.

I asked Abby and Alex Bar to help me fix that.

We met for dinner at Honey Butter Fried Chicken, them bringing their smiles and me bringing a large, insulated bag with frozen and room-temperatured versions of the five most popular answers to Barnwell’s question.

After the meal [Ed. note: Splendid, always. If you’re in Chicago, pay them a visit.], I laid out my wares on our pic-a-nic table and took the picture you see at the top of this post. As a brisk wind picked up and we drew a small amount of attention (Alex/Abby: “She wants to give you money for your basketball team.), we decided to pack things up and head back to the #BSMT (my small, garden-level den of an apartment) for the actual taste-test, which would feature a bite of room-temp candy bar and then a bite of frozen, to determine:

1) Which candy bar improved the most in its frozen state?
2) Which candy bar tasted the best frozen?

Up first …

IMG_4491Charleston Chew Minis
[Ed. note: I fully intended to buy full-sized Charleston Chews, but the closest Walgreens, CVS and grocery stores didn’t carry it and I wasn’t going to drive to the next town. If that makes me a half-assed candy bar blogger than so be it.]

Room temperature

Abby: “These have the texture of deflated packing peanuts. Or deflated marshmallows.”

Alex: “There is … very little flavor.”

Me: I’d grown up enjoying Charleston Chews, but only when frozen (bias revealed and admitted). The minis are a more palatable eating experience, but at room temperature both the full- and mini-sized are … laborious to chew.

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Frozen Charleston Chews what?

Frozen

Alex: “Hmm … There’s a pop that’s pretty deliberate, then it sort of melts into a gummi.” “It crunches, then it sticks to your teeth.”

Abby: [Ed. note: Unintelligible notes holy wow my handwriting is bad. Sorry, Abby.] … “These melt; the others didn’t.”

Me: Damn, that crunch makes all the difference. They’re definitely a little blander than I remember, but the stark difference from frozen to room temperature is so welcome. They almost shatter upon first bite, then melt into a comfortable chewiness until only the last remnants stick to your teeth. I’m a fan.

Preference

Alex: Room temperature
Abby: Neither
Me: Frozen Continue reading

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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.]

***

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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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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Marshall Faulk

Since I started this blog, the most common question I’ve received (outside of “Wait, what?”) is “What is your favorite candy bar?”

Today is my birthday. This is the candy bar I decided to eat.

Tasting Notes

– Frozen.
– Though they’re also delicious at room temperature.

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