five faves / how to be See's savvy

In lieu of finishing a rather delicate post I'm working on as to why I no longer shop at Macy's, I'm instead going to write about what I used to do every time I'd leave a Macy's: GO TO SEE'S CANDIES.

I know See's isn't really nationwide, but at least every West Coaster should be able to hear me out on this. See's is the chocolate king--or rather, it's founder's mother, Mary See, is the chocolate queen. The See's Candies stores--filled with those trademark soothing black-and-white tile and faint chocolate aroma that I swear lowers blood pressure by at least 15 points--was designed to resemble her home kitchen.

She must have had happy relatives.

I come from a long line of See's aficionados, bordering on well-meaning snobs. You don't know how it pains us to stand in line at a See's (while probably nibbling our delicious free sample, natch), and hear someone order a half-pound box of Marzipan, Apple Pie Truffle and Walnut Rolls. C'mon, seriously? You have before you arguably the world's greatest array of dark and milk chocolate, and you're ordering that??

The only thing more painful is listening to someone who knows they're in the presence of true chcolaterie greatness, but they haven't the foggiest idea of what anything tastes like. "Um, well, I guess I'll take a Walnut Square, and then um, give me two Mocha Truffles... And then, um, do you have something with caramel in it?"

I "humbly" (scare quotes insisted upon by my husband) submit my top five See's picks. Order these with confidence and speed, impressing both your sweet See's clerk and your fellow chocolate lovers in line behind you.

1. Dark Chocolate Butter
"Creamy soft center with chocolate liquor and butter covered in rich dark chocolate." These things are served in Heaven. I have no doubt of it.

2. Butterscotch Chew
"Buttery brown sugar caramel with vanilla." When the angels grow weary of Dark Chocolate Butters, they eat Butterscotch Chews for variety.

3. Scotchmallow
"A layer of caramel with a layer of honey marshmallow covered in rich, dark chocolate." My Dad's favorite. The top of this one closely resembles that of a Dark Chocolate Butter, but in time, you'll be able to spot the difference. Go easy on yourself.

4. Dark Bordeaux
"Creamy brown sugar soft center covered in rich dark chocolate and decorated with chocolate rice." Addictive. "Chocolate rice" is code name for bits of chocolate deliciousness that tumble down your shirt unnoticed when you bite into it, only to be found hours later, melted and unremovable from your clothes. This has never happened to me, of course.  

5. Dark Molasses Chip
"Sugar wafers flavored with molasses and covered in rich dark chocolate." Variety for the angels, part II. We gave these away as favors at each table setting at my wedding. After the reception, my Mom and Dad collected the scattered leftover programs and holy cards that were forgotten at the tables... but not many of these.

So: Pack a box for your mother, your kid's teacher, your pastor or yourself.

Clear eyes, full See's box--can't lose. 


  1. Those all sound incredible! I've heard how good See's is and I just hope I get the chance to try it out one day :)

  2. We just went to See's yesterday! I love the Toffee-ettes, but really anything from See's is great. My mom always gets a box of "nuts and chews" for my grandma for her birthday, Mother's Day, and Christmas. Always. Our store in CO used to be just seasonal, but it's year round now! But of course, I have since moved to NC...