Tag Archives: Trader Joe’s

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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Happy Birthday Mama!

IMG_3856Today’s my mom’s birthday. She’s a pretty awesome mom. She tells some pretty mean stories.

And raised a pirate and didn’t even care.

Happy birthday to you, Mom. You made me more than your fair share of PB&J sandwiches, though they were usually just straight ‘ol PBs because you knew I didn’t like things that tasted like fruit for a very long time.

[Ed. note: I asked her what her favorite candy bar was and she mused, “Like music, it depends on my mood.” Snickers and the Bar That Keeps Hitting On You At The Bar were tossed out there as top contenders as well.]

***

Tasting Notes

– This candy bar tastes like a chocolate peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
– Please, could you tell me if that tastes good? Because I’m still not sure.

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A Passage From a Novel Without Any Context: 3.14.15 Edition

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“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

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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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Let’s Discuss: Who Are Your Five Dating References?

IMG_3654On Monday evening, thanks to the generous, esteemed Boof Bar, I watched the Bucks get blown off the court by the Bulls. [Ed. note: It’s OK. I’m not upset. Own the future, boys.]

As is customary, we shared a postgame meal and conversation at the one and only Tater Tot Land, a swell establishment that has a kitchen open ’til 1 and serves, you guessed it, tater tots. (Also sandwiches and salads and iced tea, but who the hell wants to hear about Iced Tea Land?)

Among the topics covered in said conversation: basketball, traveling, “Bolognese”, respecting the process, roommates paying rent and/or doing dishes, Bop, work, “idiosyncrasies”, Mediterranean chopped salads, new cars, our respective adventures in the realm of dating.

Just two single fellas havin bro talk; inevitably some frustration surrounding that last topic seeped out. At one point, amongst a great deal of other points, Boof said, “It would be easier if after the first date, you could give her five people to call about you, and if she still wants to date you after that, then … let’s proceed.” (Or something like that. I didn’t have a tape recorder.)

Me: “Haha, that’s rich. ‘Hey, darlin’, I had a great time. Call these five people, and get back to me if you’re still interested.'”

LET’S DISCUSS: Assume that it’s accepted social norm that after a first date, both parties exchange a list of five references for the other to call to determine whether they want to continue to date. The references come with a maximum five-word descriptor and phone number (e.g. Will Smith: actor, rapper, Renaissance Man XXX-XXX-XXXX). These references do not know they are going to be called, but they have to at least answer the phone when the call comes.

WHO ARE YOUR FIVE REFERENCES? 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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