Friday, March 6, 2009

PayDay Saves the Day (x46)

My eyes scanned lustfully over the rows of chocolate bars at the checkout stand. Even though I haven't been tempted to buy a candy bar in years (err months), my tongue was instantly moist at the mere thought of biting into a Snickers bar. Nevermind that the last time I ate one, I was exceedingly disappointed with the chalkiness of the chocolate and the overtly sweet nougat center. This was no matter of concern to me -- I was ready to hunker down with a cup of green tea and the entire box of the inferior bars, not coming up for air until every single processed morsel was crammed into my belly.

It was only one day into Lent, and I was already struggling with my commitment to give up chocolate. This did not bode well for my ability to restrain myself for the entire 46 days between Fat Tuesday and Easter Sunday. At all.

I angrily eyed the rows of chocolate bars that were all off-limits to me. 100 Grand, KitKat, 3 Musketeers, Milky Way Dark, those Fling bars that were recently featured on Candy Blog, and my favorite non-high brow chocolate, Dove bars. It wasn't fair. Everything was made with chocolate.

Or was it?

Just when I was about to give up my search for something sweet, my eyes fell upon the PayDay box in the far right corner of the bottom row.

My mouth twisted into a giddy grin. PayDays aren't made with chocolate. I immediately crouched down and snagged myself one of the clearly least popular bars and happily plunked it down on the conveyor belt with my banana and Inglehoffer Sweet Honey Mustard. While I briefly remembered not being impressed with the PayDay when I tried one as a youngster, I pushed that pessimistic thought to the back of my consciousness. As long as it gave my insulin levels a sugar punch, I didn't care what it tasted like.

When I arrived back to my office, I cut the candy in half for portion control (I do occasionally make an effort to preserve the sanctity of my arteries), and dug in to the peanut-studded bar.

The first bite was a bit disappointing. I couldn't get past the feeling that the whole thing would be so much better if it was coated in a rich layer of chocolate. But then things started to get interesting. The salt from the roasted peanuts began to dance with the sweet caramel nougat, creating an addicting juxtaposition of sweet and salty on my tongue. It was like dipping French fries in a vanilla milk shake -- only a lot less disgusting. The experience immediately evoked the taste memory of the fleur de sel caramel, a supposed "new hot" trend in bakery cases and on dessert menus. The irony didn't escape me. The PayDay was first rolled out in 1932 -- over 70 years prior to the much-heralded debut of Pizzeria Mozza's Butterscotch Budino with sea salt and other similar offerings from the last decade.

By the time I'd finished my half bar, the PayDay had won me over. While I still would love to dip the whole thing in some Guittard dark or milk chocolate, 46 days without chocolate no longer seems like an impossible feat.

Especially since I am now down to 37 days.


The Duo Dishes said...

Did you know there is a new chocolate covered Payday? Honestly, it's not as good as the original. You lose the salty flavor of the peanuts. BUT perhaps you'll want to see for yourself...after 36 more days!

Esi said...

"Like dipping french fries in a vanilla milkshake"

You KILL me! So funny. I'm glad the Payday came through for you. I can't even remember the last time I had one.

Reeni♥ said...

I haven't had one of those in years! I'm glad it did the trick. I was checking out Carob bars at the natural food store today, maybe that could be an option, too? They sure have come along way since my parents used to buy carob for me as a kid. These were fancy flavored bars with hazelnut and fruit combos. I had to laugh at your comment tonight, but I'm now well-stocked with pizza making supplies as of this afternoon.

Heather said...

i'm amazed at your willpower! i could never last that long without chocolate!! i hope you get a really good prize at the end :)

i'm gonna need to try french fries in a vanilla milkshake. that made me drool.

Sawyer said...

lol, pretty crafty. never realized payday had no chocolate

Diana said...

Duo Dishes - I didn't know that! I wonder if I should try making my own version and then sprinkling the outside of the chocolate shell with sea salt...

Esi - You should go try one again! And then come up with an amazing do-it-yourself recipe. :)

Reeni - Oh interesting - I'll have to check out the carob bars!

Heather - You know what's even better than french fries in milk shakes? Pretzels in milk shakes!

Sawyer - Apparently, they do have a chocolate version now. I feel so behind on my candy bar trivia!