Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pretzels, Rice and England

You know life is good if we can all come together in pursuit of the best peanut butter and chocolate combinations. And let's thank the founders of this country for breaking away from England! Scones don't exactly rock my world. Although I do love shortbread......and all that pomp and circumstance! And Monty Python!

But I love freedom more! God Bless America!!! And God Save the Peanut!

Let's talk first about some more peanut butter and pretzel combos. The first is berkshire bark's pretzelogical bark described by the company as: Belgian dark and milk chocolate, pretzels, sea salt caramel, natural peanut butter.

This is the top of the bark, the next picture shows the bark flipped over and dissected. (But this was done with love - don't go all PETC on me.) That's People for the Ethical Treatment of Chocolate for those of you who didn't get that joke.

Looks great, right? The description sounds awesome! But something was wrong here - those big blobs - peanut butter? caramel? were as hard as rocks. This was no good. I'm sad about that.

Next up, a very familiar bar, I'm sure:

This is Hershey's Take 5. The wrapper says it's made with chocolate (I guess it's not Mockolate), pretzels, caramel, peanuts, and peanut butter. My girlfriend Missy loves these things. I think there is too much pretzel. It's okay, but why have this when you can have a Reese's? I like the use of the caramel here, so I like this combination the best off all the pretzel/peanut butter offerings reviewed so far. But I don't see that pretzel really brings anything to the party.

Let's move on to crisp rice or rice crisps or whatever the hell this stuff is. Hell, Hershey doesn't even know what it is - thus the name of this bar:

Whatchamacallit? I'm going out on a limb here and I'm going to call it crap. For 230 calories I want more than a squashed rice crispy treat - without the marshmallow. This bar is described as "made with chocolate, peanut flavored crisps and caramel." The caramel is the only thing that gives this any life. I find it bland and disappointing.

It looks as exciting as it tastes. ZZZZZZ........................

I'm not much on the Nestle Crunch bar either. Crisped rice just kind of seems like a cop out. Cheap filler. But I liked it in Jer's stuff. Hmmmm........ I'm sure we'll talk of this again.

If you like crispy and light and want something peanut buttery, a MUCH better choice is:

You can have one pack containing two wafer bars for only 100 calories. These are like Kit Kats with peanut butter but a little lighter. No caramel as in the Crap bar. But more peanut buttery. And I'm all about the peanut butter!!

I saved one of my favorite peanut butter bars for last:

From our friends at Lake Champlain chocolates. This bar is here because it contains: peanuts, peanut butter, CRISP RICE and milk chocolate.

Isn't it beautiful? Doesn't just looking at that make your mouth water? The Five Star bars are all amazing - the are small but really thick. And this one is packed with peanut butter. It's a blander peanut butter than Reese's but is still terrific. And the peanuts inside are delish.

So, dear readers, what have we learned so far in our exploration of this awesome combination of peanut butter and chocolate?

New isn't always best, but just because something has been around for a while doesn't mean it can't be improved on.

Expensive doesn't always mean it's the best, but sometimes it does (the Five Star bar is great and it's not cheap).

When it comes to chocolate, no rules apply.

Chocolate is like life - you have to jump in and taste it! I love Tootsie Rolls (talk about Mockolate), but I also love Guylian chocolate seashells. How do you know what you'll like the best? Try them!! How do you know who you are? Live!

You can learn from others and they can help you along the way, but if anyone tells you they have all the answers for you, run. You'll like things based on the flavors you grew up with and a million other experiences. Obviously a lot of people think the Whatchamacallit is a great candy bar or Hershey's would have quit making it. All you owe it to yourself to do is keep trying new things and keep learning and growing. You'll find the best life (and the best chocolate) for you.

And don't forget to celebrate your freedom this 4th of July by taking a few minutes to think of all the patriots through the years who have given their lives to keep us free.

God bless chocolate, peanut butter, and the United States of America!!!


jeff said...

"Crap bar". You crack me up. Happy Independence Day to you too, Ma'am.

Denise Ryan said...

Hey Jeff!! Thanks for the comment and for reading!! A great holiday, yes? You'll love the series I'm about to do on freedom I think. Enjoy the weekend!!