Working in a grocery store means I know the exact moment morels, spring asparagus and rhubarb get processed in the produce department. It also means I know the exact moment when the Cadbury Eggs take their perch at the registers. Both, of course, are welcome signs of spring, but my nutritionist friends would balk at how often I buy the latter over the former. Without further adieu, I present my five favorite candies.
1. The Cadbury Egg
Eat them too quickly and the sugar causes this sort of choking and coughing effect. But savor the sweetness and these Britain-born oddities are delightful. Accept no substitutes, though. The chocolate, caramel and (especially the) orange ones are crap compared to the original.
2. Mini Cadbury Candy Eggs
Another Easter-time arrival, these milk chocolate eggs are what M&Ms want to be when they grow up. Sadly for the M&M, their reveries are fruitless. Nothing can compare to these bite size chocolates with the delightfully-textured hard candy shell. I literally cannot stop eating these chocolates; there are too many ways to eat them (most of which involve words like “suck” and “dissolve” and “tongue,” so I’ll end this paragraph here).
3. Zimmerman Zang Bar: What the Fudge?
Happily, these candy bars are available year round. If I ate more than one a week, though, I’d probably go into some sort of diabetic coma. These four-inch candy bars are layered with quality ingredients: malted milk supplied from a local (to them) dairy, real butter, Madagascar vanilla extract, the whole works. I can usually make one bar last through three “sittings” and have (reluctantly) shared one with four people. Normally, ingredients like these end up in dainty one-bite frou-frou settings; what makes Zzang (and, of course, Zingerman’s) so brilliant is that these bars are nestled up next to far less superior fructose-filled samplings, all of which make dropping five or six bucks on a candy bar look like a wise move. Click here for places to buy.
4. Giant KitKat Bar:
Long before I started reading ingredients labels or suspected that I’d have a food blog, I spent a summer in Edinburgh, Scotland, studying documentary photojournalism. Every morning that summer, I’d leave my flat, head to the bus stop and purchase my healthy breakfast of a large Kit Kat bar and a Cherry Coke before heading into the city. Since that summer (more than a decade ago!) I’ve seen variations of that Kit Kat bar surface (then disappear) in the U.S. Sadly, I can’t seem to find my favorite breakfast food outside of Duty Free shops, so my most-important-meal regiment is now simply three or four cups of coffee.
5. Caramel Bars from School Fundraisers
Someone somewhere thought that it would be a good idea to hand a case of candy bars to a teenager and sell them for a dollar to their peers, all for the good of the marching band, school paper and/or society. I was always selling stuff in high school, and by selling, of course, I mean I ate an entire case of candy bars, probably on a monthly basis. I loved the caramel bars, with each bite sectioned off and filled with sweet, addictive and flowing caramel. The sucky part was the fact that I had to pay myself back for all the candy bars that I stole from my door-to-door briefcase. I probably single-handedly paid for a french horn or a year’s worth of photo paper all with my meager earnings from the Half Off Card Shop, whose candy offerings were way less tempting