When I was little, I loved Halloween. Not for the pumpkins or the haunted houses. And certainly not for the rare opportunity to stick your head in a barrel of water filled with half bitten apples while your arms were tied behind your back (I actually had to do this as a kid at a Halloween party once and it was HORRIBLE). Maybe a little for the costumes. But those were just a means to an end.
For me, Halloween was all about the candy. My mom was a healthnut (a subject worthy of a whole other post) and the candy I EARNED trick-or-treating was the only candy that ever made it's way into our house unchecked. My mother, who bought Health Valley Cheddar Puffs instead of Cheetos and thought a chipless granola bar could more than satisfy any desire for something sweet, let me walk into the house with my pillow case of loot, go upstairs to my room, and store the entire bag in my closet for as long as it took me to finish it. I put so much thought and energy into what to eat and in which order that I'm sure my grades took a brief dip at the end of every fall.
In the Halloween candy hierarchy that existed in my ten-year-old head, there was nothing better than chocolate. Smarties, Now and Laters, Starbursts, and god forbid, Necco Wafers all took a backseat to even the lowest chocolate candy on the totem pole (Milky Ways and Three Muskateer Bars, obviously). Next up were bite-sized chocolate candies, such as, M&M's, Mini Reeses Peanutbutter Cups, and Hershey's Miniatures. The highest rung was reserved for THE CHOCOLATE BARS. Within that category, the four that rose to the top were Twix, Kit Kat, Butterfinger and Snickers. I made sure, as I methodically ate the contents of my pillow case, that these bars were spaced out so that my very last Halloween bite of the year was nothing less than pure chocolate candy bar GOLD.
As I got older (and was free to buy chocolate whenever I pleased), I realized the world of chocolate bars is actually much larger. It started with my first Toblerone bought on impulse at an airport. Then I discovered the British treasure trove that is Cadbury and really began to understand that all chocolate is not created equal. From there I moved on to brands like the classic Valrhona, the organic Dagoba, and the hand-crafted Scharffen Berger. And although I still love milk chocolate, my tastes have evolved to include my current favorite, Green & Black's 70% Dark.
New and fancier varieties, however, arrive faster than I can eat them without upping a pant size. The latest being Mast Brothers Chocolate, hand-made chocolate bars from a local artisan brother team in Brooklyn. The packaging is beautiful, the ingredients impeccably sourced, the backstory worth reading (the accompanying video is so hipsterific* that it's hard for a non-hipster like myself to properly wrap my head around it), the store is Brooklyn craftmanship** at its finest, and the CHOCOLATE— well, let's just say it's way too good to give to any kid. (If you buy from the Mast Brothers Chocolate online, you role the dice with ten handselected flavors).
All this means that I'm still stocking up on Kit-Kats and Twix for Halloween. The kids will think that they're getting chocolate candy bar gold while I save the really good stuff for myself.
* Hipsterific: Ridiculously self-important yet oddly endearing, also beards
** Brooklyn Craftmanship: Designed within an inch of its life to look like a mom & pop that's been there for years, also I want to live there