My ‘Mack’ shall be smacked no more

As a young boy, I was sophisticated enough that, when given the choice of a chocolate bar or MacIntosh Toffee, I would always go for the “Mack.”

“Chocolate” is a loose term applied to the covering around the nougat or some

such filling that, when packaged in the shape of a bar, was called a “chocolate” bar.

Scrape some of that “chocolate” off with your teeth, work it with your tongue and there is no way you will discern a taste of chocolate.

Now, a MacIntosh Toffee was a snack sensation on a whole different level. First of all, it was never the same texture. If the store was kept a little cool, the flat piece of heaven (a.k.a. toffee) would be hard.

Give your Mack a smack and it would break into small shards, large ones and everything in-between. It was never the same.

If you kept it in your pocket, then, well, you now have an I Love Lucy episode happening right there on your front step as you pulled and pulled, and it stretched and stretched as it teased you from getting a portion in your mouth. But you did. I’ve never seen a half-eaten MacIntosh Toffee.

And the flavour – oh, the flavour – would be toffee-ish, toffee-like, pure toffee. It is evidence that there is a God and, like Caroline Drury’s operatic voice is a level of perfection to judge all other music by, it set the standard for candy.

Alas, I speak of this not to worship MacIntosh Toffee, but to share sad news.

Before I continue, it is important that you sit down. If you are having this read to you while driving, please pull over and turn off the ignition before continuing. Do you have a support network close by? If not, is there a blanket or a soft toy you can clutch to your bosom?

OK, I’m not sure how to tell you this … OK, let’s try it this way: MacIntosh Toffee has been very sick lately. The engineers at Nestlé tried everything they could, but it was just too sick. So it is no longer available on store shelves in the Yukon or anywhere else in Canada.

Not even at Riverside Grocery.

Would you like to take a moment?

Believe me, I was much more gentle with you than that guy at Super A. He just said to me, straight out, “They don’t make them anymore.”

He didn’t offer me a chair; he didn’t offer a cold compress for my forehead … nothing.

I was shocked, pained, angry and then depressed.

I went home and Googled “MacIntosh Toffee + Tragedy”. I learned that Nestlé stopped making them “due to unforeseen circumstances” and there is a “temporary delay”, according to the MacIntosh Toffee website (you can find this in the Frequently Asked Questions section, just after some whining about peanut-free facilities).

With this news, albeit suspicious corporate-speak, a glimmer of hope has entered my life once again (note to that guy at Super A: always offer hope when you give someone bad news … and make sure they won’t be alone when they go home).

Not even Nestlé Mack ice cream consoled me. Hello? It’s freezing cold … you can’t taste it. It’s like, hmm, calling a “chocolate” bar a “chocolate bar”.

According to the MacIntosh Toffee website, I can instead buy its 170-gram bag of individually wrapped Macintosh Creamy Toffee that is a delicious treat to share with family (available at Wal-Mart).

Noooooo, the whole idea of MacIntosh Toffee is that if you don’t want to share, you just clamp your teeth into one end and start pulling. Those telltale teeth marks and saliva stains are your seal of assurance that you won’t be bothered any time soon by your brother.

And half the fun of MacIntosh Toffees was using the empty box as a whistle. MacIntosh Toffee has always been the gift that keeps giving.

OK, it’s bargaining time now: Who wants to trade their last box of MacIntosh Toffee for my first-born child?

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