Time melts in your mouth
The notion of time has lately been on my mind. Especially when it seemed to simultaneously stand still and slip away as I crouched down in the dark during our recent blackout, attempting to read with a flashlight jammed under my chin.
Time struck my brain again when I awoke in the middle of the night and gazed at the cable box to check the hour. Of course it was blank. I felt the same way.
Then a couple of days later, with the premiere of fall and the power finally restored, I found myself slowly shuffling through a store thinking of the linear time of clocks and calendars and the cyclical time of the seasons. Suddenly, I realized maybe it was marketing time that really matters. And from the looks of all the candy displayed, I knew it was now the "month" of Halloween. -G.A. Benton
What I tried: M&M's Premiums ($5)
Season of the witch: I'm no longer frightened by autumnal spirits and hobgoblins, but when I saw the Today Show exposing how some kiddie candies (like Hershey's Kissables) are now being made using cynical recipes that replace cocoa butter with cheap vegetable oil, a cold shiver ran down my spine. Man, talk about trick or treat.
Time for an upgrade?: Stepping through that store, I stumbled upon a newish line of M&M's Premiums that featured fancy packaging with a price to match - a whopping $5 per box. Quickly comparing them with "classic" M&M's (79 cents per bag), I noted both had very similar ingredients (they still use cocoa butter). So were the newbies really worth the startling markup?
Moment of truth: M&M's Premiums come in festively mottled colors, are far fatter than regular M&M's and, it turns out, far, far better. They're made in five flavors (like mocha and mint) but for comparison's sake, I matched the Triple Chocolate against plain M&M's and pitted the Chocolate Almond against my old friend peanut M&M's.
While the plains were primarily a crunchy candy shell with a blast of sugar and a mere touch of chocolate, the Triples were the opposite. They had only a hint of a shell, and instead were basically all chocolate - a more complex chocolate with a pleasant, chunky chewiness and a fine, fatty mouth feel.
The peanut M&M's fared better against the Premium Almond variety, but in the end, they were another classic that couldn't compete with all the added chocolate of the Premiums.
Would I eat them again?: While I do like them, the only time I'd eat the Premiums would be when someone else bought them. Because even though they're much better than regular M&M's, they're still quite sugary, and for that price I can buy something much better and much darker.
WE TRIED IT! Spot a new supermarket specialty you'd like Taste Test to try? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org