In our still-young Snacktaku series, we have been focusing mostly on new snacks. The exotic, the colorful, the strange and the bizarrely delicious. But for my first Snacktaku, I felt like before I venture into the new, I should first discuss the classic snack that is nearest and dearest to my heart: Milk Duds.
I rediscovered the 'Duds about five or six years ago after years living on chocolate separated from caramel. I believe that for a while, I had them confused with Whoppers, for some reason. But these days, I'm not thankful in one way or another to the Hershey Company for creating these chocolate-covered carmel snacks. Fair warning: I love Milk Duds so much that this could get a little bit weird. However, I promise to only use the word "suck" once.
So, where do I begin? The innate snackly strengths of the Milk Dud are myriad. For starters, they are delicious. The chocolate around the carmel isn't exactly Hershey chocolate, despite its manufacturer; it has a dusty quality to it, and it quickly dissolves, leaving the caramel to spread out and soften slowly, caramelized, melting sugar with just a lingering hint of chocolate.
But the real magic of Milk Duds is their longevity. I've never known someone to chew Milk Duds, though I'm sure those folks are out there—if only for the sake of your molars, they must be sucked (there it is!), which causes each 'Dud to last two or three minutes. I've stretched a single package of Milk Duds out over an entire week, and never felt as though I was holding back or rationing. In terms of "hours of delicious snacking per box," Milk Duds provide an unparalleled value.
Furthermore, their long-lasting nature makes them the perfect snack food for gaming. I realize that Snacktaku isn't necessarily gaming-related, but hey, I spend a lot of time playing video games these days. And so, I'm always looking for a good snack to go along with games. But potato chips crunch away so quickly, and leave my hands (and therefore my controller) covered in grease and salt.
Most chewable snacks require constant refreshment, and so I find myself reaching over mid-firefight to grab another couple of Raisinets or another handful of popcorn. Duds, on the other hand, just sort of hang out in your mouth, offering a steady drip of sweet awesomeness to accompany the action on-screen.
Another upside of their non-chewable nature is that they don't make any distracting sound. I'm being serious! That is a big plus, and one of the reasons that 'Duds are such a great movie snack. With loud snacks like popcorn, chips, or nachos, the sound that crunching and chewing makes in my head can drown out on-screen dialogue. Duds never have that problem; I can hear every line while simultaneously snacking.
Unfortunately, Milk Duds have gotten harder to find these days. Even my most reliable supplier, Walgreens, doesn't always have them in stock—I remember making my way to the hellscape that is the 16th street and Mission Walgreens and going over the candy aisle with a freakin' comb, shocked at the fact that my cherished mustard-yellow box was nowhere to be found.
Fortunately, most other drug stores do still carry 'Duds, and there is also a corner store in my neighborhood that usually sells small containers of them. Milk Duds may not be everyone's favorite candy (they lost to Twix in the first round of Tomato Nation's N Candy AA Bracket), but for their fortitude, deliciousness, and classic classiness, they will always have my heart.
Price: About $1 at Walgreens for a sizable box. Often part of a 3-for-$3 bundle deal.
Availability: Drug stores, Walgreens except for the one at 16th and Mission, Movie Theaters
Suggested Pairings: Movies. Video games. Life.