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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Food & Candy Finds: Pretzel M&M's

And now for a sweet interlude.  We could use one about now, especially after my last post.  I offer a virtual treat for the candy lover in all of us.  My friend, Jen Check, found these addictive Pretzel m&m's last week and it didn't take but one to get me hooked.  This is candy crack. The combination of chocolate and salty pretzels is one of those candy match-made-in heaven pairings that's hard to beat.  I love candy and I love m&m's so this latest offering from Mars is nearly perfect.  The only things that would make  pretzel m&m's better would be to combine the pretzel filling with dark chocolate and/or caramel, making it more like their enemy's Take 5 Bar; a sinfully perfect candy bar consisting of pretzels, caramel, peanut butter, peanuts covered in chocolate.  The pretzel m&m's remind me of malt balls or Whoppers, but with a better crunch and a more satisfying sweet/salty/crunchy/chocolate combination.  Malt balls are another oddly addictive candy that has an off-tasting waxy chocolate coating.  Weird with the first bite but familiar and pleasing by the time you've popped the 10th one into your mouth.  

Pretzel M&M's are a brand new candy, which hit the candy shelves within the past month.  I'm glad I found them this quickly as they are hard to locate.  I haven't seen any advertising for them yet and I'm sure folks will not realize this is a new flavor; the bag is blue and the m&m character representing them is the paranoid Orange Guy.  I've since learned that this is a new incarnation for the blue bag and the orange character, previously these were the "faces" of M&M Crispy.   I am always intrigued by classic candy limited editions or new flavors but that interest usually wains somewhere in-between the opening of the package and the the first bite.  Take, for instance, the Coconut M&M - a serious candy disappointment.  The flavors are all wrong - it should have been a dark chocolate filling with a pronounced coconut flavor and real pieces of coconut flakes.  These were too sweet.  Flavoring is a problem with the "regular" special edition flavors (as opposed to the over-priced and over-packaged "Premium" m&m's).  The flavors are too bland and artificial tasting.  The Transformers Peanut Butter and Strawberry m&m's from a several years ago were almost there, but the strawberry flavoring was too faint.  Seems you just can't keep mixing up and reinventing the classic candies.  Faced with too many choices we want to go back to what we know or remember best.  Maybe that's why the new pretzel m&m's will be a hit, it's a classic flavor combination and it doesn't need too many marketing gimmicks, sizes, characters or additional food groups to make it better.  Chocolate, pretzels, sweet and salty.  Ah, I think I'll take that bag now and head off to watch some TVLand.

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