15 Oct2006


How can just 1 pound (16 oz, 454 grams) of anything cause both so much joy and so much horror? This 1 pound box of See’s chocolate (encased in a Fall-themed jacket) was just dropped off minutes ago by a friend, as a birthday gift for my daughter. When I was a kid, boxes of Whitman’s Sampler (remember the yellow cardboard boxes with cross stitch design on it?) and See’s chocolate in the fridge meant really good things…it meant relatives had just come for a visit, or our folks had just gone on a trip abroad or we were just lucky that some business associate or family friend had handcarried the stuff back from Hong Kong or the U.S. It didn’t happen that often and that meant it was rather special. So when the familiar See’s wrapper and the telltale 1 pound box arrived at the door earlier, I had this momentary desire to throw all caution to the wind and gorge myself on some of its contents…

But the box of chocolates wasn’t mine. And my daughter was heading out the door to a friend’s house and requested that the box be maintained in its see2pristine untouched condition so she could have first pick when she returned, then share with ancestors! ARRGH. Torture. So it sits in the fridge now waiting for the Princess to return to the castle. I took out the Nutritional Facts Pamphlet out instead and it states that if I eat the entire box it would be roughly 2,400 calories. That is less than I would have thought, it must be all those nutritious nuts! But according to my calorie burning guide, that is still about the equivalent of 4 straight hours of moderate biking or 3.5 hours of real singles tennis or 2.5 hours of jumprope! Yipes, that is a lot of activity for a 1 pound box of chocolate! Pain and pleasure…no wonder they always seem to go together! Get a grip, Marketman!



  1. Chris says:

    The princess may be out but you’re the king of the castle. heheh, just kidding. While I find See’s chocolates good, I never really had a craving for it. I guess the combination of caramel, nuts and chocolate is just too OTT sweet for me.

    Don’t our bodies have just one type of receptor for both pain and pleasure? So who can say where pain ends and pleasure begins (or the other way around)?

    Oct 15, 2006 | 3:12 pm


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  3. catalina says:

    See’s and Ghirardelli chocolates remind me of San Francisco . . . it’s not everyday we get to enjoy the stuff, so just dig into the box, MM, and toss Nutritional Facts into the trash bin.

    Oct 15, 2006 | 3:58 pm

  4. bijin says:

    In my house this box will get noticed but with no excitement. My kids are so used to salty Japanese crakers that they’ll go for those before any box of choc. As for me, I will indulge in it sparingly because I don’t want to torture myself with thoughts of jogging or going to the gym!
    Japan has incredibly good chocolates and a lot of the best ones from France, Belgium and Germany, etc. This country is choc heaven if you love a good chocolate!

    Oct 15, 2006 | 4:12 pm

  5. Joanne says:

    One look at the photo and I knew it was See’s candies, thanks to the unmistakable nut clusters, which are yummy. The others though are just too sweet for me.

    MM, did you ever have ChocNut during your childhood? How did you like it? I still eat ChocNut sometimes, for purely nostalgic reasons. I reminds me of fun summers many, many moons ago.

    Oct 15, 2006 | 4:16 pm

  6. Marketman says:

    Joanne, yes, I recall chocnut and did use to eat it quite a bit. But now I am less fond of peanuts and chocolate so I have it sparingly. Bijin, I have to admit I eat chocolate of all qualities from Hersheys to my favorite La Maison du Chocolat on which I have a post last year sometime in my archives… I also eat a LOT of Royce when we have it. Catalina and Chris, I agree these are SWEET but it is the nostalgia more than the taste I think that gets me…

    Oct 15, 2006 | 4:59 pm

  7. Sandra says:

    Fact — did you know that Berkshire Hathaway (Warren Buffett) bought See’s Candies ages ago for only US$50 million? Now, its yearly income surpasses the cost!

    My favorite is the coffee candy and also the almondettes. I first tried almondettes from Blums. I don’t know who got it first.

    But, just to think of the calories. . . um…. “one minute in your lips, forever in your hips.” In my case, the stomach. Que horror.

    When eating, I wonder whether the pounds put on is worth the taste.

    Oct 15, 2006 | 5:00 pm

  8. tei says:

    love those whitman’s samplers!

    Oct 15, 2006 | 5:03 pm

  9. cupcakediva says:

    I lost my appetite for chocolates when I was 12 after coming home from vacation in US. We hoarded boxes of chocolates from Cosco, got saturated and from then on I hardly touched the stuff until now. Sometimes though I’d get cravings and when I do I indulge on Lindt, Nestle Crunch and M&M peanuts!

    Oct 15, 2006 | 5:31 pm

  10. renee says:

    …i agree with chris… whether in pleasure or pain, eyeballs rollup and see white light and stars…then time just stops…hmmm… so that’s why there are masochists…. Although between the whip and chocolate, I’d go for the latter… =)

    Oct 15, 2006 | 10:24 pm

  11. Mandy says:

    you know MM, if i had that see’s box, i’d probably eat the whole then hop on a bike and spin for 3 or 4 hours. it looks so delicious. i think see’s is mcuh better than the ghirardelli’s. and the see’s victorian toffee. yum!!!

    Oct 15, 2006 | 11:38 pm

  12. Shane McGrady says:

    Just love See’s, especially the Victorian Toffee and Marshmints. Diet or no diet, there’s ALWAYS room for See’s!

    Oct 16, 2006 | 1:24 am

  13. tina says:

    I love chocnut and sees! i don’t think they sell Sees here in Australia.i buy chocnut at the filipino store. MarketMan I think I saw a box of Whitmans sampler in a shop here –it was in a yellow square box. do they sell Whitmans in Manila?

    Oct 16, 2006 | 6:41 am

  14. Marketman says:

    tina, they sometimes sell Whitman’s in Manila, specially around the holidays…but it is rare. However, the chocolate selection at the grocery level has improved dramatically in the past 10 years…

    Oct 16, 2006 | 6:58 am

  15. Mitch says:

    This box would not have lasted a minute in my house (still won’t). Alas, I did not grow up as an only child and any food that entered the household was automatically subject to the hands of our gluttonous brood (myself included). Your restraint is admirable.

    Oct 16, 2006 | 6:59 am

  16. HD says:

    We still have a box of See’s candies here. The person who loves it so much is on a diet ;). I can eat them, I looove chocolates, but I don’t want nuts in my chocolates so it is still there.

    Oct 16, 2006 | 9:19 am

  17. gonzo says:

    What are the soft dark chocolate fudge ones with whole almonds wrapped in clear cellophane called? Comes in a round white can. Those are my favourite from See’s. Otherwise i studiously avoid American chocolates (really quite inferior and coarse-textured when compared to european or even japanese choccys, so, sayang the calories… also i have political/moral issues vs the current US govt and am avoiding american made).

    Chocnut– funnily enough my current gf who is (ehem) ‘uppercrust’ Parisian born & bred just loved Chocnut when she was here last (i was explaining to her that it was a childhood treat of mine. she wasn’t listening. she ate around 5 of them in one go.). So now i have two large packs of !@$&* chocnut in my luggage for when i go see her next week. My dream is to take over the Chocnut company and make the confection less sugary sweet, more peanutty/chocolatey, maybe add a hint of salt to cut the cloying sweetness. That would make it a far better product, imho.

    Oct 16, 2006 | 12:29 pm

  18. juls says:

    yumyum.. i simply love see’s candies… the constant pasalubong from l.a…. yung ok sa akin is their 1lb. box of mix turtles (caramel+pecans). + marshmallow w/caramel

    Oct 16, 2006 | 1:41 pm

  19. trishlovesbread says:

    Gonzo, they’re called Almond Royal, one of two See’s confections I absolutely love. The second marvelous sweet of theirs is sasafras lollipop. The spicy rootbeer flavor is so interesting–have you tried it?

    And when you do take over the Chocnut company, could you make the bars less powdery/chalky as well (but not as soft as Reese’s)? :-)

    Oct 17, 2006 | 1:32 am

  20. Isabelle says:

    In my last trip to Hawaii my boyfriend and I had a very enjoyable time choosing which chocolates to put in a box for me to take home. All of my choices had dark chocolate which is my favorite :-) What I like about going to the See’s store is that they give out samples while customers are lining up. Di ka pa bumibili, busog ka na ;-)

    Oct 17, 2006 | 4:57 pm

  21. ShoppaHolique says:

    i read somewhere that a gourmand who counts calories is like a hooker checking her watch every five minutes…

    Oct 17, 2006 | 8:41 pm

  22. gonzo says:

    Trishlovesbread: Almond Royal, of course! They’re truly fantastic, the best thing See’s has come up with. wish i had a can now.. Never even heard of sassafras lollipop. groovy name though. will check out.

    as for the chocnut co takeover, haha, ok will reformulate for less powderiness, but i don’t know, maybe part of the charm of chocnut is its distant relation to polvoron? i just chuck em in the deepfreeze so that when it’s time to eat one it doesn’t fall apart on you.

    incidentally, i did a taste test of the other chocnut style candies in the market in the hope that someone would have improved on the original chocnut. No luck. The others (Hany, Chocomani, etc) are even more sugary sweet, less flavoursome, and/or chalkier than the orig. dragsville..

    Oct 18, 2006 | 7:14 am

  23. pinky says:

    Chocnut? Who’s got some chocnut?

    I love chocnut for its unique taste, also like Joanne, for nostalgic reasons as well. However, my kids all born and raised here in CA like em just because.

    It may just be my imagination but it seems to me that the chocnut pieces now are smaller than I remember them from my childhood. Or it could be they only seemed bigger to me back then as a little kid.

    Gonzo, pag take over mo ng Chocnut and improved on the product, bili ako ng stock OK? We might make some money here. Oh, the possibilities!

    Oct 19, 2006 | 11:01 am

  24. Crissy says:

    Very tempting! Whenever my sister and I would eat See’s chocolate, we call it “see’s chocolate suprise!” Half the fun is guessing what you ate.

    Oct 19, 2006 | 8:22 pm

  25. tei says:

    check out Unimart in Greenhills for Whitman’s. they’re placed near the fridge (milk, juice, butter sec) together with the other hard to find chocolates.

    Oct 19, 2006 | 11:03 pm

  26. Marketman says:

    Thanks for that tip Tei, I find that Unimart, Cash&Carry and South Supermarket tend to carry the things we had when we were kids…

    Oct 20, 2006 | 7:58 am


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