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Friday, August 1, 2008

Blog War: Milk Duds

Milk Duds are gross.

Milk Duds are gross. Like I needed to tell you that.

It was in childhood when I first made the fatal mistake of ingesting a Milk Dud. I’m almost certain it was under the care of my aunt who regularly shoveled us full of Little Caesars Pizza, macaroni and cheese, and in one undocumented circumstance, grass from the backyard. (Was it any wonder vomiting almost always concluded our visits?) Plunking the chocolate coated caramel in my mouth I anticipated the sweet crunch of the all too similar in appearance yet not in taste Whopper. While my young mind was thinking, “Who the hell orchestrated that trick?” my young mouth uttered a succession of confused whimpers. I never made that mistake again.

Approximately 19 years later I find myself sitting next to a box of Milk Duds. Despite the encouraging claim on the box, “35% Less Fat Than the Average of the Leading Chocolate Candy Brands” I find that I am unable to even pull back the perforated flap. Is it possible for a candy to make you sick via proximity alone?

What about this candy is appealing to people? The name alone implies failure. This is America and Americans don’t like failure, right? Well actually… the original plan was for Milk Duds to be perfectly round (like the Whopper!) but that was impossible. The candy was dubbed a “dud”. But that didn’t stop Philo J. Holloway. So technically what we have here is a good ol’ American tale of slapping a clever name on a disappointing product and hauling in currency.

But let’s take it down to the ingredients. I’ll waive the sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, and remaining list of sweeteners. It is candy after all. My real problem concerns the basics: chocolate and caramel. Let’s take a hideous, goopy, sticky substance and cover it with chocolate so the unsuspecting child won’t know what she’s really dealing with here, Aunt Jeanie. Just like cement is the adhesive that holds together our civilization, caramel is the cement that holds together Candyland. And who the hell wants to eat cement? Chew a Milk Dud and your jaw is firmly locked for a good second or two. If you manage to swallow the glob, the residue still lingers. Hello tooth decay and a life riding the city bus. (Being a city bus rider myself, I can confidently claim that tooth loss and bus passes are a natural pair, but don’t ask me to explain it). Moving beyond the obvious perils, it’s just not all that creative, is it?

Let’s consider a few alternatives:
Raisinets… practically a health food!
The Butterfinger… if it’s good enough for Bart Simpson…
Fun Dips… hours of sticky sugar filled fun, and cheap too!

No, there’s no reason one should ever resort to Milk Duds. And don’t let this guy tell you otherwise. Ok, there may be one circumstance where Milk Duds come in handy, but I’m fairly certain the candies ended up in the bin.

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