When was the last time you actively craved a candy bar? Now, I’m not asking when the last time you ate a candy bar was, or how much you hated yourself after, but the day, month, and year when you thought to yourself, “I’m in the mood for a candy bar.” It was probably when you were a kid. It’s one of life’s richest ironies: once you’re old enough to get something whenever you want it — be it fast food, candy, or drugs (all equally harmful) — that’s exactly when you stop wanting it. My last actual candy bar was about two years ago, when I needed a pick-me-up during a long drive through an endless stretch of Texas and the nearest kolache place was 55 miles away. So, I bought a Twix — it was a good decision for about 10 minutes. Then I started to crash (thankfully not literally).
Candy isn’t part of my DNA. I’ve literally never seen my father buy a Kit Kat, let alone eat one, and my mother would occasionally put a mini Snickers in the freezer, but that’s about it. If I’m going to slowly kill myself with sugar, I’m going to do it with baked goods and ice cream, thank you very much. But even I must admit I was intrigued when I heard about the Pig Face Candy Bar at Geraldine’s in Austin, Texas. Pig face? I’m listening. I’d much rather take a risk on something “weird,” like the face of a pig, than eat a Mr. Goodbar. I might love the former; I know I’ll be disappointed by the latter.
I stopped by Geraldine’s — located inside Hotel Van Zandt right off boozy Rainey Street — and had what executive chef Stephen Bonin calls “fun in its appearance… resembling a candy bar, but tastes familiar with a nostalgic twist.”
I gotta admit, pig face is better than any Take 5 I’ve ever had. It’s both crunchy and chewy — a brûléed exterior working in combination with the chewy pork center. I’m not sure how portable the “candy” bar would be on Halloween, but it’s worth looking into. We should get someone on that.
Later that night, I stopped by a grocery store (God, is there anything more depressing than going to the grocery after eating a delicious meal at a restaurant?), and for the first time in years, I looked at the candy choices near the register. I’ve always taken the sweets for granted — candy is as ubiquitous an impulse buy as soap opera magazines — but never really considered the plethora of options. With the Geraldine’s treat still on my mind, two things became immediately clear: 1) Peanut Butter M&Ms sound terrible, and 2) it’s time for a new candy bar.