I will always root for the underdog. Whether it's the Super Bowl or a simple game of Monopoly, whoever's losing will always have my support. It's probably why I got into underground music growing up and quickly realized all the amazing bands were the unheard ones. The same goes for everything else in life -- 7-Up over Sprite, Battlestar Galactica over Star Wars, Coffee Time over Tim Horton's, Go-Bots over Transformers, Mary Brown's over KFC, Partridge Family over The Brady Bunch and St. Hubert's over Swiss Chalet (but not really).
And nowhere is it more consequential than the world of candy bars. Now please understand, my time with candy bars has long since passed. When the ol' metabolism started slowing down I bolted to the gym and immediately cut out the snacks. Today that means curmudgeon envy as I bitterly watch others down endless bags of chips, jellybeans, sugar wafers, ice cream and fudge. Craving sweets every day makes me immediately overcompensate by boasting about how much I don't need foolish confectionaries. But no matter how loud I am, everyone knows I'm lying.
And truth be told, I crave all of it every day, every minute even. When cravings start to ramp up and you start to hyper-focus on chocolate, you quickly realize there's a jungle of chocolate product out there and every dietary slip-up you inevitably plan to make shouldn't come without time-consuming rumination. Sure I can hastily auto-grab a Hershey's Milk Chocolate bar or an Oh Henry, but after the second bite I realize their over-familiar tastes have a diminishing return of satisfaction. I recognized long ago that when I need to fall off the wagon, my indiscretion should only be spent with my favourite chocolate candy bar of all-time -- Big Turk.
Big Turk is a candy bar of Turkish Delight, a gelatinous dessert from Turkey wrapped in a delicious chocolate coating and available exclusively in Canada by Nestle (originally through Smiles N' Chuckles). Introduced to me by my grade 5 teacher, it has since been my favourite candy bar. To my utter amazement, most of my friends find it revolting. More for me then. Even to this day, it is perennially found at the bottom of the candy rack and I have never ever seen anyone buying it. Still, it's never been yanked from the shelves so someone else has to be loving it, too.
And what's not to love? When the imposing turkish delight meets with the wafer-thin North American chocolatey coating, it's an irresistible cultural blend of east-meets-west and qualified successor to the Reese Peanut Butter Cup. It's like when Ahmet Ertegun signed Led Zeppelin or when Dr. Oz first appeared on The Oprah Winfrey show. Or even better, it's like having a three-way with both Mary Ann and Ginger from Gilligan's Island or when you find out Walmart has a McDonalds inside.
Big Turk is like some candy bar coelacanth, outlasting some of the greatest treats ever -- O'Ryans Sour Cream & Bacon flavoured chips, Milk Mate, Bonkers candy and Boo Berry (now relegated to seasonal production). I'm half-writing this in order to keep it a high priority on the Nestle roster just in case.
So the next time you find yourself peckish and craving a sugary treat, why not touch your toes, bend down to the bottom of the candy rack at the convenience store and try that Big Turk? You might be pleasantly surprised and may just end up insisting it be buried with you when you die.
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