In celebration of Hallowe'en (which Southern Man will observe by grading astronomy papers, eating candy, and drinking heavily) this blog is pleased to bring to you the 2011 Candy Hierarchy from Boing Boing.
This is just a low-resolution teaser so click on the link above to view the real thing. We'll wait for you.
Now this hierarchy contains numerous errors (plain Hershey chocolate bars ranked above Nestlé's Crunch? Starburst and ordinary candy corn on the same level? 100,000 Dollar Bar on the second tier? What were they thinking?) but the one upon which Southern Man will focus is (a) the questionable positioning of Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate and (b) the omission of any other mention of dark chocolate.
We begin with four hierarchical statements. First, Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate is superior to all other Hershey products. Second, all non-Hershey dark chocolate is superior to Hershey dark chocolate. Third, any chocolate product is improved by changing from milk chocolate to dark chocolate. And fourth, any chocolate product is improved by adding nuts.
The first of these statements identifies yet another error in the hierarchy: the Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Bar is at the same level as the regular Hershey Bar. While both products probably deserve lower rankings than they have, this is a grievous error; the Special Dark Chocolate is manifestly superior to ordinary milk chocolate. However, the second statement notes that in the sub-hierarchy of dark chocolate Hershey resides at the bottom. Dark Chocolate Lindor Balls and Dark Chocolate M&Ms and Godiva Dark Chocolate and Ferrero Rondnoir and even plain old Dove Dark Chocolate Bars all reign supreme over the pale excuse for dark chocolate that is provided by Hershey. The third statement codifies what everyone knows: Dark Chocolate Snickers and Milky Way Midnight bars and Dark Chocolate Kit-Kats and Dark Chocolate Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are a giant leap beyond their milk-chocolate counterparts. And the fourth statement asserts that Dark Chocolate Peanut M&Ms reign supreme over all of these, even as the addition of a little almond sliver elevates ordinary Hershey Dark Chocolate Kisses to a higher plane. And of course dark chocolate covered almonds are gifts of the gods themselves.
Therefore Southern Man submits that there ought to be a level above top tier - call it the 1-Percent or Gifts Of The Gods or whatever. Most of the "pure" dark chocolate products mentioned in the above paragraph go there. Hershey's regular bar goes down a level, leaving Hershey's Special Dark as the only dark chocolate in Post-Tertiary. Most of the products in Top Tier get bumped down a level and are replaced by their dark-chocolate counterparts. We can continue to argue about the relative positioning of Crunch Bars and such. But that fixes most of the problems. We'll see if these improvements are incorporated into the 2012 version.
But at the end of the day if any of these make their way into your trick-or-treat bag consider yourself truly blessed, for dark chocolate is proof that there is a God and that he loves us and wants us to be happy. Lord, thank you for dark chocolate! Amen.