Tag Archives: Toffee

Your mom sends me candy bars

IMG_5307

[Ed. note: Sorry about the hiatus, loyal readers. Calendar year-end is like tax season in the fundraising game; I’ve been getting decimated. I hope to up the posting regularity now that things have slowed at least a little bit.]

I’ve spoken at length about how awesome moms are.

Really though, that sentiment doesn’t extend only to nuclear mothers. Grandmas, aunts, sisters, dads, coaches, neighbors … there are any number of people who take time to care about you and offer a guiding, stabilizing presence. And sometimes bake you cookies.

I’ve been fortunate to have no fewer than 7 women who have been mothers to me in one way or another. Jacki Bar, otherwise known as “Mrs. Max” [Ed. note: But not actually Mrs. Max, just his mom], is one of them. In the past decade, she’s come to my regattas, attended my college graduation [Ed. note: granted, Max was there too] and made time to see me whenever she’s been in town.

This summer, she went on some worldly travels and picked up a few bars for me to try. Once the weather cooled down to provide for risk-free shipping [Ed. note: Those moms … always thinkin’], she sent them my way to give a try. Big thanks to Jacki, and a big thanks to all the moms out there.

IMG_5309

Nutella B-Ready (Italy)

Once I got past how to enunciate the name of the bar — Be Ready? … Bready? … Be Ready. — there wasn’t much difficult about eating this bar. The outside of the bar was entirely wafer, reminiscent of a compartmentalized, more brittle ladyfinger (the compartments, assumedly, are for breaking off pieces). Each bite was light but not so much so that it was unsatisfying: The Nutella filling brought a needed gravity to the wafer exterior, which had a texture something like the lovechild of a one-night stand between the phyllo in baklava and the inside of a Kit Kat. Thumbs up.

Another bonus: A relatively healthy bar! Only 399 kilojoules!

IMG_5306

Cote d’Or (France)

Some straight-up delicious-ass chocolate with hazelnuts. The chocolate was dark, but not so much that it couldn’t be described as milk chocolate, and the tasty hazelnuts gave a welcome crunch. This wouldn’t be my first choice in the French candy aisle, but I would not be mad if it were the only choice. [Ed. note: Which would call into question why the hell that was how that store decided to stock that candy aisle.]

IMG_5305

Nougat Stick (France) (There’s probably actually a name for it but I don’t speak French and this was tough for me)

This was a revelation: In the States, it’s very rare you see a nougat not a) encased in chocolate or b) with a jelly center in the bulk candy aisle. This was a whole stick! With indiscriminate nuts (which, upon later inspection, were pistachios and almonds)!

The Nougat Stick was very light, much lighter than most US nougats aside from Three Musketeers, but was slightly chewier than you would expect. It almost had the consistency of a packing peanut, but I mean that as a compliment? I’m as bewildered by that sentence as you probably are, but let me just say, I liked this a lot.

IMG_5311

Charles Chocolates Toffee Coffee Bar (California)

I’m a fool for a good toffee bar.

I’m also a fool for a good coffee.

Mix the two together with some dark (but not too dark) chocolate? Dang. This was a good-ass candy bar.

Because of the bitterness of the coffee and dark chocolate, however, it’s not a bar to be eaten in one sitting, more like a break a piece here and there sort of thing. You know, just in case you were thinking otherwise.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Tagged , , , , ,

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.

Tagged , , , ,

“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.”

*breath*

“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

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Passage From a Novel Without Any Context: 3.14.15 Edition

IMG_3730

“Thank you so much. Again, I’m so sorry.”

The cashier squinted her eyes like she was smiling but her mouth never actually moved. She hated me.

They all did.

“C’mon, Toby! Come with mommy!”

His little fingers grasped my largest two and we made toward the automatic door.

“Mother of the year, right there.”

What. “Mother of the year right there”?

You have got to be. fcking. kidding me.

I turned and glared at that little bitch.

“You’ve got some nerve. You know that?”

“Excuse me, what?” Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

I’m Being Romanced By a Candy Bar

2015/02/img_3592.jpg

After shooting some pool with Bruder Bar, I go to Binny’s to pick up some beer for a party we’re going to after we head back to his house to watch Step
Up Revolution. They have candy bars, so I pick one that has toffee in the name because I’m a little drunk and that looks tasty.

In the cab back to Bruder’s, I open the bar, but not without first noticing that there is a love poem promised. I get excited.

I Break Off A Piece for Bruder and the cab driver, and … discover the following:

2015/02/img_3595.jpg

Happy Valentine’s Week.

Tagged , , , , , ,

A Symphony of a Call To Action

IMG_3567

So, I chomped down on a Hershey’s Symphony bar yesterday, and in the ensuing comedown, when I typically begin to think about what I want to write about, I came to the realization that a) I was terrible at coming up with classical music puns and b) that I was the wrong person to be writing the Symphony post.

You see, I have a tall friend named Ricky, owner of a casual orchestral blog (now, sadly defunct) and Twitter feed and possesor of rare talents such as hippo hands and writing prowess. He could have knocked this post so far out of the park that we couldn’t even make a baseball metaphor out of it.

Ricky’s not the only friend I have with those talents (well, excluding the hippo hands. You own that one, friend.); a great deal of this very blog’s loyal readers have voiced candy opinions I would love to hear more about.

It’s been about a month; I think both you and I get the gist of what’s going on on here. So I’m sending out an open invitation:

Do you want to guest-write a post on Breaking Off A Piece? Quite literally, it can be about anything — doesn’t have to be a candy bar, though that’s obviously encouraged. If so, message, tweet, Facebook, email, call, text or comment in my direction. I’d love to have your contribution.

We can … make beautiful music together. BOOM SYMPHONY JOKE GOT ONE IN. (I’m so sorry.)

Tasting Notes

– For those unfamiliar (including me, which was the reason I bought the bar in the first place), a Symphony is basically what happens if you melt a bunch of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate and Toffee Nuggets and made a bar out of it, except if the toffee was a little less crunchy.
– This candy tasted good. Not an all-timer when it comes to toffee, but tasty nonetheless.

Tagged , , , ,
Advertisements