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Home » Culture and Criticism

N Candy AA: Round of 64, Flight 2

Submitted by on March 23, 2010 – 9:28 PM74 Comments


Today's write-ups by Keckler. Confused? Click here.

1 Skor vs. 16 Raisinets. This is going to be a bloodbath. Over the past ten years, I've come to accept (even love) many foods, but raisins are not one of them. Raisins are disgusting little bits of wizened chewiness that came into being only because some Friar Tuck was too drunk to remember to pick all the grapes. When it comes to Raisinasties, one could argue that sucking the chocolate off and spitballing the withered excuses for fruit across the theatre is a fine way to spend a night at the movies. Except that the chocolate is pretty lousy. The raisin-haters out there are almost as legion as the coconut-haters, and there's no way a wonderfully snappy chocolate-covered toffee bar is going to lose to shriveled grapes coated in barely acceptable chocolate.

8 Caramello/Caramilk vs. 9 Charleston Chew. I'm guessing that these two are pretty evenly matched. Personally, I've only ever had a Charleston Chew once, and the experience didn't thrill me enough to keep me coming back for more. Meanwhile, I love Caramello, so I'm rooting for those fragile squares of drooly caramel even if you have only one chance in a million of getting a Caramello bar with all squares fully intact.

5 M&Ms vs. 12 Ghirardelli. I'm going to start a war here, but I don't see the point of plain M&Ms. There's not enough chocolate in them to matter, and there's no nuts. I am a peanut M&M girl through and through, in the same way I'm a walnut-brownie girl. Basically, I need the nuts. However, nuts anger a lot of people (and not just anaphylactically, either), which means there are many more M&M fans than peanut M&M fans. This convoluted logic is all by way of saying that while San Francisco-born Ghirardelli makes some damn fine chocolate squares, chips, and cocoa, M&Ms are too classic to lose this round.

4 Mars Bar vs. 13 Special Dark. Oh, Special Dark, how much I once adored you. I'd sift through all the other fun sized-Hershey bars and extract all the Special Darks in their understated wrappers (by comparison, Krackels and Mr. Goodbars seemed like trollops with their loud and larry yellow and orange wrappers), and congratulate myself on having a singular palate at such a young age. Now, however, I can't stand the chalky, dry bars that remind me of the time I made the mistake of snatching some Baker's unsweetened chocolate while my mom was making chocolate mousse pies. There are a huge number of dark chocolate fans out there, but since this is a poor example of that genre, I'm pretty sure Mars Bar will take this one handily.

6 Kit Kat vs. 11 Mallo Cup. My mom loves Mallo Cups. I love Mallomars more than any other cookie in existence, so I should love Mallo Cups, and yet? I don't. They're the kind of too-hard chocolate that plays fast and stabby with the roof of my mouth, so I'd snarf a crispity-crunch Kit Kat any day. However, Mallo Cups have a long history and a loyal following. People who enjoyed them as the candy of their youth adore them in their adulthood. (Probably because as adults, they can finally eat as much as they want.) Still, did a Mallo Cups theme song ever drive Ed Helms nuts on The Office? I think not. Kit Kat will take this one, but only barely.

3 Mounds/Bounty vs. 14 Joyva. Joyva. Another candy I haven't had the pleasure of eating. Well, "pleasure" might be overstating it, because I'm not tempted by the description of any of the products. Maybe the East Coast and the coconut-haters will come out in full force to kick Mounds/Bounty right out of the running, but I hope not, because I do adore my coconut candy. This is a really hard one to call, but I'm going to put my money on coconut-haters pushing Joyva ahead and hope I'm wrong. ["I think you are. Joyva is a candy I love, which means its target demo is women ages 80-dead, and also people who hate having adequate saliva." — Bunting]

7 Hershey Bar vs. 10 Dove. This is going to be tough. I mean, who doesn't love The Great American Chocolate Bar? On the other hand, plenty of people who loved Hershey in their callow youth moved on to better chocolate, and Dove is definitely an example of that better chocolate. A recapper over at TWOP — I think it was either Jessica or Heathen — once said that Hershey's smelled like baby vomit. I really did like Hershey Bars until I read that and realized how true it was. Also, I can't remember the last time I bought a Hershey bar, yet Dr. Mathra regularly buys the Dove minis (milk and dark) and hands them out to his calc students around Halloween. We always get ourselves extra bags and pair them with pumpkin ale because — just go with me on this — it really brings out the pumpkin spice. (Another pairing is pumpkin ale and Chips Ahoy, but that's another bracket.) So, while Dove may never have a city where you can buy chocolate-scented pencils (yes, I still have them from 5th grade and they are absolutely wonderful and still smell like chocolate), I think it's a new American classic and will leave Hershey in the dust. Given my own preference, that shouldn't make me sad, but it really sort of does.

2 100 Grand vs. 15 Toffifay. Full disclosure: I've never had a Toffifay, and I couldn't find any in the Bay Area to sample before writing this up. ["Try a retirement home. Uh, 'I guess.'" — Bunting] By description, it sounds very close to my adored Caramel Tartlet cookies from Trader Joe's, but I think you have to be very special to beat 100 Grand. Is Toffifay that special? I wouldn't be surprised by an upset, but my money (heh) is on 100 Grand.

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  • Jenn says:

    I like M&Ms because they're not a specific portion size – if you want a few bites of chocolate but not a whole bar, you can dole out the right amount.

  • Mike says:

    I like raisinettes. I used to eat the all the time. Now, at my more advanced age, it's not a good idea any more.

    Charleston Chew were great when you put them in the fridge and smacked on the table to make smaller pieces.

    I can eat M&M's all day long. My favorite is peanut, but I can eat any variety to excess. I think these will make it to the final four.

    Toffifay was an interesting candy. It was like a caramel bowl with a nut like substance in the middle. I predict a swift elimination.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Wow, Joyva has a whole 12%. /old

  • Nina A says:

    What does Joyva actually taste like?

  • JennJen says:

    I have to say, one of the best things about working retail is that I can get Caramello's before they're all broken.

  • Rachel says:

    It's crazy how many of the candies in this tournament are things I've never even heard of, let alone tasted. I don't think Kansas even HAS regional sorts of candies–I had no idea other regions had so many unique flavors!

  • Rachel says:

    Charleston Chews aren't terribly exciting until you freeze them. Then they're wonderful.

  • Abra Cat says:

    The point of plain M&Ms is pouring a handful into your mouth and chewing until the chocolate is gone and you're left with a mouthful of candy coating, duh.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    It's hard to explain what Joyva tastes like. Sort of like a nut cookie, I guess. It's really dense.

  • Heather Rose says:

    I live on Long Island and I haven't heard of most of these either.

  • robin says:

    Oh, dear. I voted for Joyva on the basis of Joyva Jels, which are a lot like Fruit Slices but without the "rind". I didn't realize this was about the sesame Joyva, which is an OK snack but not a great candy.

  • Oh, WORD on the Raisinet hate. I actually don't mind raisins (and love them in some contexts, like an oatmeal raisin cookie), but for some reason, for me raisins + chocolate = GROSS.

  • jive turkey says:

    I am still speechless over the SPOT-ON Hershey's/baby vomit comparison. How did I not notice this before?!

    (I do not expect this to affect my holiday Hershey Kiss consumption.)

  • Emerson says:

    I had a Mallo Cup for the first time just yesterday! Someone just walked by and handed it to me. I had no expectations, but today, I voted for the Cup with all the love in my heart.

  • Tisha_ says:

    M&Ms vs. Ghirardelli was the hardest one for me. I went with Ghiradelli, but man was that hard.

  • Fandragon says:

    Whoa, Kit Kat is SLAMMING Mallo Cup. It seems like a no-brainer to me, but then I never saw much point in marshmallow-anything that wasn't thoroughly blending into something else (like Rice Krispies), so I don't believe I've ever tried a Mallo Cup.

  • avis says:

    Rasinets are my favorite movie candy. I love to pour them into my non-"buttered" popcorn and eat them together. OTOH Skor bars are delicious. Skor v. Rasinets made my heart hurt. I went with Raisinets because I was sad they were being verbally abused.

  • Rachel says:

    Wowsers, Kecker really over-estimated the Mallo Cup. I hate marshmallow just slightly less than some of you hate raisins. In hot chocolate or s'mores or Rice Crispie treats, sure. Other than that? Keep your marshmallows away from me because ew.

    As for M&Ms, the best way to eat them is to dump them in a bowl and add a bag of Reese's Pieces.

  • mctwin says:

    There's nothing quite as pure as a Hershey's Kiss. It screams "Hershey, PA! Let's GO!!" But Dove is a superior mainstream chocolate, though I feel like a traitor!!

  • Anlyn says:

    Kit Kat is stomping the crap out of Mallo Cup. I'd never even heard of Mallo Cup. Or Joyva. I need to get out of Oklahoma.

    We used to sell 100 Grand in school for band fund-raising. Kids would buy them from us during and between classes; it was great. There were four different kinds of candy bars, but 100 Grand was my favorite, so it's the only one I remember. I think Reese's cups were another. Baby Ruth? Ergh, that's going to bug me now.

    I totally agree regarding Hershey's Dark. I used to LOVE it. Now, I actually prefer Hershey's regular milk chocolate. I still love dark chocolate caramels, though. Mmmm.

  • StillAnotherKate says:

    I remember when the 100 Grand bar was called the $100,000 Bar and you had to say it all out – the Hundred Thousand Dollar Bar. That's how old I am! But I will still contend there are few things in this world better than a 100 Grand bar. Unless it is a Whatchamacallit. Which I hope makes an appearance!

  • Rachel also says:

    I thought for a moment I'd commented and forgotten, because I was going to write that exact same first sentence. :)

  • Kristina says:

    The best thing about Toffifay (Toffifee where I lived) is that you can take it apart piece by piece, until you only have the nut left. if you don't like the nuts, which I didn't. It's like peeling grapes! Who doesn't love candy like that?

  • attica says:

    I find myself mystified that there exist people who dislike coconut. How does this happen? On the other hand, I guess I'm okay with their presence, because it means More For Me.

    I've only ever had one chocolate-covered raisin that I could stand, and it certainly wasn't a Raisinet. The chocolate has to be balanced enough (not too sugary, with a hint of salt) and firm enough to balance the oversweet and chewiness of the wizened fruit.

  • Katherine says:

    When I was in high school and had to sell those fundraiser boxes of candy, I would always end up buying all of my own caramellos and the caramellos of everyone else in my class. And then my molars would be stuck together for the next week.

  • mrs f says:

    Um, Dove is good and all that, but you can't make s'mores without Hershey bars …. I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin' ….

  • Fiona says:

    This is a much more exciting flight for me than the first one was. Caramello, 100 Grand, Kit Kat; My old friends! Plus I'm a person who loves both raisins AND coconut in my chocolate.

  • Valerie says:

    No, silly. The point of plain M&Ms is pouring a handful into your mouth and sucking on them until the candy is gone and you're left with a mouthful of chocolate.

  • Valerie says:

    Yes, in theory this is an advantage of M&Ms. But clearly the "right amount" is an extremely nebulous concept, which it turns out is often defined as "the whole bag."

  • Schlinkaboo says:

    what was wrong with my childhood that I recognize (and enjoyed!) almost all of the candy so far. Toffifay? Haven't seen one of those in a generation, and I'm not that old!!! 10 months pregnant isn't the best time to be reading about all these sweets — I'm drooling!

  • TashiAnn says:

    When anyone mentions Toffifay the jingle from the commercial pops in my head "Toffifay, it's not for kids!" As a kid hearing that commercial made me go out and try it as soon as I could, which I suppose was the point but I wish it still wasn't with me 20 years later.

    I always thought that I preferred plain m&m's over peanut until we had a major work project and my boss brought in huge bags of plain, peanut and dark chocolate M&M's and mixed them all together. At the end of the project all that remained in the bowl were the plain milk chocolate M&M's. Several of us in the office were surprised by this.

  • Melissa says:

    Oh my god. I LOVE Toffifay! I live in Wisconsin and they are incredibly difficult to find but sometimes Walgreens has them and I can barely make it out of the store without eating them. So good. They won't win but that's okay I love them enough for everyone.

  • fleegan says:

    Maybe it's a regional thing, but I cannot believe Raisinets are getting their asses handed to them by a fucking Skor bar. I haven't seen a Skor around here (Alabama) in ages.

  • Hannah says:

    I've never heard of Toffifay before, and as I sit here at my desk saying it softly to myself, I think it sounds like I'm trying to say "toffee" and having a stroke.

  • KTB says:

    M&Ms always remind my of my dad–he used to drop a handful into the chest pocket on his shirts and putter around the house munching on them. Therefore, they are awesome. Also, my parents used them to teach my sister and me how to swallow pills, which sounds unpleasant, but totally wasn't.

    Mars bars are the first thing I buy every single time I set foot in either Europe or Canada. For whatever reason, they are better in both locales than the US, but I. Love. Mars. Bars. Yummm…

  • LALALA says:

    LA by birth, NY by preference, and pure coconut hater, so it hardly matters what some of these unknowns are! Mounds and Almond Joy, you're going DOWN.

  • Tarn says:

    I was all set to vote for Dove, because yes, it's better chocolate. But then I was reminded of s'mores. You can't put Dove chocolate on a s'more. It just isn't done! So…Hershey FTW!

    Word to the yum that is a frozen Charleston Chew.

    The first time I had a Toffifay I thought it was one of the best candy bar things I'd ever eaten. And it's still great, but it is hard to find, and 100 Grand is awesome with that super thick wad of caramel in the middle of the chocolate and crispies, so I reluctantly had to go with that.

    This game is making me fat.

  • sam says:

    I was only voting for Mars and KitKat with the British version of them in mind, really. Keckler knows my position on raisins and I am sorry but Ghiradelli is actually quite good as far as candy you can buy in Walgreens goes, how could I not vote for it? M&Ms are like cigarettes, you know they taste crap and they are bad or you, but you can't help just one more. And you probably wont believe this but it is totally apt and true – as I started to type this comment, all miserable and thinking of English chocolate and suddenly wanting something sweet, a parcel was delivered to my desk. It was from my mum in Blighty. She knows I was a Galaxy chocolate child, not a Cadbury's one. I opened up the parcel and inside were 2 bars of Glaxay and Galaxy chocolate caramel eggs.

  • Annie says:

    Yeah, I've been surprised at how many of my votes come down to "heard of" vs "never heard of." Makes me want to go to some weird candy warehouse to try some new things!

  • Audrey says:

    I can pretty much no longer eat plain M&Ms on their own–they just taste like subpar chocolate. BUT, illogically, I love M&M cookies to death. They totally beat their chocolate chip counterparts. No M&Ms, no M&M cookies.

    (Ooh, also, the variety of colors and tiny size make them very useful in many educational games. So that too.)

  • K. says:

    The Caramello/Charleston Chew was tough. I went with Caramello – I prefer caramel slightly over marshmallow (although putting them together? Brill. Oooh, and are caramel creams in the tourney, the caramels with the white filling in the center? I love those), and this boy used to call me Caramello in 4th grade, so score one for nostalgia.

    I don’t mind raisins – I’ll eat a box of them, I like oatmeal raisin cookies and cinnamon raisin bagels are my fave, but Raisinets are vile. The chocolate coating is all waxy.

    Kit Kat/Mallo Cup was tough too (see my aforementioned enjoyment of marshmallows), but Kit Kat edged out. The crunch is satisfying and who doesn't love "Gimme a break"?

    Dove chocolate is way better than Hershey’s. My grandparents turned me on to Dove Ice Cream bars when I was a kid and they are the SHIT. The ice cream is perfectly creamy, the chocolate is perfectly smooth and not too thin like a Klondike bar. I was really excited when it came out in candy bar form. And the bars are the perfect size – the chocolate is rich so a Hershey-sized bar would be too much.

    Never had a Toffifay. I've seen them but never tried them – can't do the hazelnut. Also never had a Joyva bar – I've had the jelly rings and cherry marshmallow twists but not the bars. Nuts again, no pun intended.

  • Stephanie says:

    I know I am not the only one incapable of eating m&ms without making a bar graph first. But I had to go Ghirardeli on that one because even w/o the fun of the bar graph, it's simply superior chocolate.

  • LLyzabeth says:

    And M&M's may not melt in your hand, but they DO warm up nicely in your hand after a few minutes, so that when you pop one in your mouth the candy shell snaps ever so delicately and the warm chocolate is all soft on your tongue…*fans self*…excuse me, I need to take a moment here…

  • Nilda A says:

    The best thing about M&Ms is that you can never eat too much of them. Trust me, I have tried and I never got sick of them. Plus, each individual M&M has a different taste. The Reds, the Browns, the Yellows, the Oranges, and the Lusty Greens all taste different. I still view the Blues as suspicious but I still eat them with glee.

  • Merideth says:

    Raisinettes are Mom Candies, because you can give them to your child and not feel too guilty, because "raisins are healthy!"

    Carmel/Candy Apples and Cadbury Fruit and Nut Bars also fall into this catergory.

    M&M's get honorary Mom Candy status because you can dole them out to your child as a bribe for good behavior.

  • NotFace says:

    Joyva is technically halvah, I believe. Halvah is Arabic for "sweet shaley sesame powdered glass paste".

  • Snarkmeister says:

    If you're my hubby, said "right amount" (aka "the whole bag") will be consumed before you even make it out of the parking lot.

  • Snarkmeister says:

    I am not a super huge fan of regular M&Ms (peanut butter is my fave), but I love, love, love the mini M&Ms. Have you tried them? Something about the higher ratio of candy coating-to-chocolate really does it for me.

  • Snarkmeister says:

    I miss the tan ones. Blue is just too unnaturally bright. Tan were always my favorite.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Remember when America got to vote for the new color? There was an option for keeping tan, and I picked it about fifteen times when I called the hotline. (I also nearly crashed the Dum-Dum website voting for the pumpkin flavor. This also failed.)

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