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| Sweets |

Candy-Coated Fantasies

After a fruitful trip to Half-Price Books in Rice Village, we stopped by the newest location of The Chocolate Bar, which serves up chocolate-covered fun in just about any form you can imagine: fruit, nuts, popcorn, coffee beans, pretzels, Oreos and more. If you can dream it, they can dip it. And we can eat it.

Yesterday, staring right up from the display case, was a gorgeous-looking creation we'd yet to notice: a Twinkie draped in ribbons of dark chocolate. Huh. Curiosity piqued. Several years ago we ate a Fried Twinkie at the Santa Cruz boardwalk, and it was 90 seconds of pure bliss followed by 90 minutes of murderous bubble gut. Still, the potential for greatness in this chocolate-dipped imitator was intriguing, and we couldn't pass it up.

Turns out--just like your mother told you in middle school--what's on the inside really does matter. A Twinkie under a rich, sweet chocolate coating is little more than mediocrity in drag. So if you enjoy the spongy Hostess cake filled with insipidly soulless cream, this is certainly your treat. If not, try the chocolate-dipped Pringles, with their mesmerizing, savory-sweetolicious crunch.

Oh, Nostalgia, you cantankerous beast. How many times will we claim to love things--like Twinkies, Fanta, and Fun Dip--that only tasted good before puberty?

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