Dark chocolate almonds won the Halloween snack battle, but for many, the Bulk Barn is more than just a place for candy.

In the end, it was the dark chocolate covered almonds that won.

In an attempt to instill some frivolous fun for the spooky season, I put together a March Madness-style group for Bulk Barn’s favorite snacks, and asked Twitter followers what they would include as competitors (of course, I couldn’t include all of them. the hundreds of options without provoking the ire of Star’s art department).

I took 16 of the most popular snacks in the responses (and added a few randomly to stir the pot like Cherry Blossom, which is rarely bought, but instantly recognizable) and divided them into categories like gummies, salty snacks, and chocolate. / yogurt. covered. After two weeks of voting, the almonds took the crown.

There’s something essentially Canadian about targeting the Bulk Barn for a group of Halloween-themed snacks, rather than doing something more generic like pitting popular candy brands against each other (most of them would be American, anyway). Maybe that’s why Ringolos crushed the competition until the semifinals or the Cherry Blossom were met with a visceral reaction; they are one of the few recognizable snacks with Canadian roots.

Few would know the difference between a Mars bar and a Snickers bar, but many Canadians have entered the Bulk Barn, whether they are students craving a sugar rush after school, a home cook getting just the right amount of spelled flour before school. try a new recipe, or my mom only goes when there’s a discount for seniors to buy turbinado sugar for their milk tea.

The dark chocolate covered almond reigned supreme in Star's Halloween snack group.

He had no doubt that people would have o-pin-ions on the snack group, and he was right, as evidenced by the thousands of votes in the polls.

It’s weird to get poetic about a chain store, but in my defense, as someone who grew up in the early 90’s in the suburbs where there was nothing to do but hanging out at the local mall, it was hard not to have my childhood. . memories linked to buying things.

My earliest memory of the Bulk Barn was going to my grandmother who used to be at the Fairview Mall food court. I would go there to buy sugar and spices in quantities not available at the Loblaws next door, as well as for a week of Corn fritters, which I now realize are a nameless version of Fritos.

My parents would take my sister and me when we were kids to mix and match any kaleidoscopic sugary nightmare we could stuff into our little plastic bags. She liked the bitter peach rings, while I went for the green apple flavor. I felt like my choice was on the line between copying whatever my older and cooler sister did while still having my own identity (a taste for green was considered an identity for a five-year-old).

Eventually, the Bulk Barn closed when the mall underwent a massive overhaul and the area was transformed into what is now the cinema. One by one, the stores that defined the millennial shopping experience also closed at my local mall: The It Store (responsible for countless sexual arousals), the Simpsons department store (who else thought was related to the cartoon? ), Mmmuffins (yet to find a better bakery), Randy River (popular again thanks to the resurgence of the Y2K craze), and of course, Sears (twice!).

Still, Bulk Barn remained a presence in my life in some way.

I was going there as much as I was going to the supermarket when I started my career as a recipe tester and developer at the Star. It was particularly useful for all the times a recipe called for a spice or flour that I wasn’t sure to use frequently, so I would buy alone the amount I needed.

Thanks to Bulk Barn I got really good at observing what a cup of flour looks like and how heavy a pound of sugar must feel. On a side note: I still marvel at how tellers can memorize all those codes, that takes a lot of skill. (However, I still feel compelled to write the codes on each bag.)

One of my most memorable first dates with my partner started at the Yonge and Carlton Bulk Barn when we bought a large quantity of Ringolos, spicy banana chips, and everything covered in chocolate to sneak into the screening of “The Witch” at nearby Carlton. Cinemas We thought we were smart to avoid movie theater popcorn, but we ended up spending double that amount.

At the start of the pandemic, I spent $ 80 on curbside pickup snacks as people were desperate for any food reminders of less chaotic times (everlasting gratitude to the staff at the Agincourt location who had my online order ready in a hour).

So while the stand was meant to scrape off the holiday cheer and lively debate over which snack reigns supreme, to me it wasn’t so much about a particular snack, but about the store they came from and the people who kept the containers. full at all times. my decades of family outings, movie dates, and attempts to become a better cook.

It’s weird for a store to be a part of all of these moments in life, but considering the number of people who passionately championed their favorite Bulk Barn snacks for this group, I guess I’m not alone.


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