Tag Archives: mini

Lumps of Coal

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When I was a wee lad, my grandma used to babysit me a lot. She was a sweet lady who loved Arnold Schwarzenegger and had a right hand that didn’t open up all the way on account of an industrial accident at a factory where she worked.

When I got tired of watching Predator and started beating up on my sisters, she would Stop That Right Now, Young Man Or Else You’re Going To Get THE CLAW.

She would beckon at me with her semi-clenched hand, her fingers extended and her long, sharpened fingernails pointed directly at my heart.

And I would stop, sit back down and get right back to watching Predator.

Grandma (Grambo to those who knew her – she loved Stallone too) passed a couple of years ago. As my family gathered to mourn and pore over pictures, possessions and memories, my cousins and I all came to realize that nobody ever actually got The Claw [Ed. note: It turns out, to some’s chagrin.] – the object of our abject fear was merely a ruse to get us to stop being such little shits.

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Miss you, Gram.

A similar ruse?

“If you don’t behave, all Santa is going to bring you is a lump of coal.”

Ignoring the fact that these days coal is a precious resource that might have a higher value than a great many other gifts, for a child, this is a scary-ass proposition. And, for the most part, it works.

Now, I know I’m not breaking new ground here, but we all recognize that nobody has ever – outside of the Kingsford briquette that your wisenheimer dad decided was a funny joke one year – gotten coal in their stocking in lieu of Christmas presents, right? The fortitude a parent would need to deal with the repercussions on Christmas morning alone would make it a futile decision, not to mention the therapy they’d need to pay for years later.

We continue to propagate the threat, though. And finally, someone’s taking advantage!

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If you squint real hard … they still don’t look like coal.

Butterfinger decided to market their holiday varietal as lumps of coal (pictured at top), and I couldn’t be happier. For one, it means the kids whose wisenheimer dads were going to put charcoal in their stocking now have a shot at a delicious alternative, but, really, it’s a creative way to package the best-possible form of Butterfinger. The chocolate-to-Butterfinger-stuffins ratio is higher than a typical Butterfinger, which offers a gentler tasting experience, both in the ways of initial taste as well as a more reasonable amount of candy that gets stuck in your teeth.

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The Best Reese’s Cup is the Smallest One

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That’s right, friends.

My answer when somebody asks, “How do you eat your Reese’s?”?

“In the smallest form possible.”

As sliders, Munchkins and Bagel Bites have scientifically proven, often times it can be more fun to eat a lot of little versions of something instead of one big version.

I haven’t felt that way when it comes to the new bag-o-mini bars trend; I typically skew towards the “not bad but I’d rather just eat the big one” persuasion.

But Reese’s Minis are the best.

It has most to do with the higher-than-regular chocolate-to-peanut butter ratio (the same ratio that made the Reese’s Egg a standout, albeit in the opposite way). Due to that chocolate, it’s a little more creamy in the way of mouthfeel without sacrificing its peanut-buttery foil, which I think provides a superior tasting experience. I also suspect they’re even better when they’re frozen, but I will confirm that later this summer.

I’m also fairly certain I enjoy them more because I enjoy them longer: Minis are easier to take your time with. I lay waste to the big cups within seconds; it’s hard to put down a half-bitten cup of you’re on your feet — you keep it in your hand, then the chocolate starts to melt on your fingers, and you’re probably wearing a white shirt and you don’t want to risk it, so you finish the rest of the cup before you have a chance to really savor the first bite. The Minis, though, are easy enough to pop one-by-one on a stroll through a warm spring drizzle.

They’re easier to share, too. Nobody wants to see a chocolate thumbprint on the split-in-half regular size cup they were just handed; with Minis, you can just shake one or two out and pass. And if there’s one thing we here at Breaking Off A Piece support, it’s an easy-sharing candy bar.

When it comes to peanut butter cup, give me a mini over a regular. Everyday All day long.

[Ed. note: Okay, you got me. I just threw that last sentence in there because this song is on fire and I want an entire album of hip-hop songs with Rod Stewart samples:


That Mark Ronson guy who just popped up all of the sudden seems like he might be game to get it done. Hopefully he’s a reader. If so, Mark, make this happen. And thank you for reading. And sorry that I said you just popped up all of the sudden I’m sure you have had a long career and worked tirelessly to attain the level of success you are now experiencing. And thank you for whatever you did on the song above because it has made my week.]

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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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