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Top 5 Choice Bits

"Choice Bits" was my grandfather's term for those special pieces of dishes that are inherently more delectable than the other parts. Obviously, what constitutes "choice bits" differs from person to person: my sister, for examples, likes the "skin" of heated milk. Here are my top 5 choice bits; readers, chime in with your favorites.

5. The Cheetos Runt. The tiniest cheese crunch, which despite its diminutive size, packs in the most grease and powdered cheese pleasure. There's one in every bag and when I see it, I snarf it. Tip: the littlest of the Cheetos litter usually lurks in the very bottom corner of the bag.

4. The Dregs of Hot Cocoa. Even the most well-mixed hot cocoa eventually separates over time, with the powder settling at the bottom of the mug. That cloying sludge of milk and chocolate is my favorite, though I can only stand a few sips.

3. The Middle Brownie. While the corner piece is the name of the game for cake, when it comes to brownies, it's the middle square, whose position ensures maximum gooey chewiness and minimal desiccated edge crusts. Ideally, this piece contains the area you impale with a toothpick to test the "doneness" of the brownies. If the toothpick comes out just a little chocolatey, the surrounding brownies are probably fine and the middle one is at its peak.

2. The Semi-burnt Casserole Bottom. No, that is not a euphemism. John Seaborn Gray was right that some foods do taste better overcooked, and to his list, I would add that copper-brown buttery crust of noodles, rice, vegetables, etc. that forms at the bottom of the casserole when you've forgotten to grease the pan thoroughly and/or left it in the oven too long. Special preference goes to macaroni casseroles, though I agree with AndyG, who also enjoys the socarrat at the bottom of a paella.

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1. The Corner Piece of Cake. How much do I love thee? So much that at children's birthday parties, I have been known to volunteer to slice and serve just so I can save one of those four luscious squares (most often replete with rosettes) for myself. I like to eat as much as of the underlying cake as possible, then savor the remaining three-sided cloak of icing bite by saccharine bite.


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