March Madness is upon us. College basketball is being played. People are making brackets. Brackets are determining stuff. That’s just the way it goes.
This year I left the “Sweet Sixteen” to my sweet tooth and decided that I would put my favorite treats to the test to find out who ranked #1 in my candy heart. I assigned each conference a brand: Hershey’s, Mars, General Mills and what I called “Grab Bag” to represent those independent, underdog oldies but goodies. Let’s see what happened.
WARNING: If you gave up sugar for Lent, I’m so sorry about this.
WARNING #2: This list is made of only 16 sweets. If it was possible to list every single candy or chocolate that I love like my own family, I would’ve, but it might have taken weeks – if not years – to compile. And I just don’t have that kind of time when it comes to talking about and not consuming treats.
CONFERENCE 1: HERSHEY’S
By far, Hershey’s brought the most talent and popularity to the table. As I perused the chocolately product list, I realized that I had not only eaten them all, enjoyed them all, but also at one point hidden them all from someone at some point in my life. The four fighters emerged: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey Milk Chocolate Bar, Almond Joy and our small bundle of chocolove, Nuggets.
Reese’s vs. Hershey’s Bar was a classic battle. Both a staple in my freezer, they really do hold their own. There just isn’t anything better than a duel flavor though. So when Reese’s and Almond Joy threw down, I just didn’t know how to choose. It was like picking a favorite child.
CONFERENCE 2: MARS
Dominated by M&Ms, Mars had a solid roster as well recruiting 3 Musketeers, Dove Miniatures, Twix and M&Ms. M&Ms think (and know) they’re so cool. They are the only candy I know that not only have a face (plus, that green one is such a minx), but I’ve also eaten a personalized M&M with my own face on it. Twix, I love you, but puh-lease. After consideration, Dove Miniatures took a W over the light and airy 3 Musketeers Bar. I never thought that little candy even had a chance. And I made this bracket. So that was impressive.
CONFERENCE 3: GENERAL MILLS
On to the “fruit” candy side of the tourney, General Mills puts up a nostalgic school lunch fight: Fruit Gushers, Fruit Roll-Ups, Fruit by the Foot and Create-A-Bug. First off, I have never even heard of Create-A-Bug but I imagine them to be like an edible version of Creepy Crawlers so I figured, hey, why not. Fruit by the Foot, Fruit Roll Ups and Fruit Gushers were mainly evaluated against “stuck in my teeth” levels to even the playing field. But let’s be real here. We’re talkin’ six feet of snack. #winning
CONFERENCE 4: GRAB BAG
The Grab Bag conference brought together a few independent heavy hitters: Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, PEZ, Ferrero Rocher and Werther’s Originals. The sheer novelty of PEZ propelled it into the Elite 8, much like its competitor, Werther’s. Sure, they’re for old people who want to purposefully pull out their dentures, but they are damn good. Ferrero Rocher’s always seem like a great idea when your friend-of-a-friend brings them to your book club to nosh on, but they just don’t do it for me.
THE FINAL FOUR
As (mostly) expected, my Final Four boiled down to Reese’s, M&M’s, Fruit by the Foot and the real underdog, Werther’s Original. While I love M&M’s, I can eat a whole Costco size bag of them in under a minute and that unfortunately makes me resent them a little. Fruit by the Foot not only brings back memories of elementary school and swim team, it doesn’t melt in my mouth or hands and lasts forever! The main deciding factor in the Reese’s v. Werther’s toss up came down to Peanut Butter v. Caramel. Peanut Butter is like the Jelly to my Peanut Butter.
I can’t vote for fake fruit flavoring over chocolate. Chocolate and peanut butter are better than fake fruit flavoring. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are reign supreme. I know it’s only my opinion, but it’s right.
My question to you: How do you eat a Reese’s?
My answer for you: As often as I can.