While the sheer number of candy and snack food products available to the late-nite convenience store consumer is staggering to behold and constantly evolving and changing, it is important to note that most of these are ephemeral, flash-in-the-pan, here-today gone-tomorrow products without any heart or soul. The reason the snack food industry continues to do so well, and indeed to have the money to fund what at first glance looks to be a blinding not-so-subtle attempt to promote tooth decay, is its innovative use of Flavor Combinations.

  • The first combination of the Holy Trinity is Combos. The Combo is the grandaddy of all Flavor Combinations, without which, there would be no other Flavor Combinations.

    Combos, as we all know, are named after the fact that they are a combination of two different food products (though the second could only be so defined if you have a rather loose definition of "food"). Combos combine a rather interesting tube-shaped pretzel with a squirt of what may or may not be cheese. Either way, the best way to eat these is to bite off the pretzel bit and throw it away. What you want to do is make a huge ball of the cheesy goods and stuff the whole thing in your mouth. Combos come in a number of different varieties, including Pizza and Nacho cheese flavors.

  • The second genre-definingFlavor Combination, which sitteth on the the right hand of the Combo, is the Peanut Butter Cup. Chocolate outsides and a pseudo-Peanut Butter center might require one to consider a serious tooth-brushing after eating, but this combination is very tasty, and certainly better than one such as Gin and Juice for the youth of today.

    Recent attempts have been made to improve upon the Peanut Butter Cup by putting it in stick form, but this particular flavor combination, which comes in a flattened cup form, is like a Platonic Form, in that it is immutable, unchangeable and perfect. The difference is that unlike Platonic Forms, the Peanut Butter Cup exists in the real world! And YOU can eat them! If you are extremely lucky, you might be able to find a school fundraising candy-drive selling these in a package of four, instead of the usual stingy two at a time.

  • The third Flavor Combination is a little less glamorous than the first two, and gets less press, but it's just as powerful as the other two, and actually good to cleanse the pallate after partaking in a taste test of the aforementioned Flavor Combinations. It is none other than the York Peppermint Pattie, a combination of a mint center and a chocolate coating that is shaped like a giant coin.

    Created in York, Pennsylvania, the potential of this Flavor Combination was seen by the American chocolate giant Hershey Foods Corp. and was subsequently bought and moved to Hershey, Pennsylvania. The minty center of these patties makes them a fantastic breath mint when you run out of those 1.5 calorie Tic-Tacs, which we all know don't work anyway.

    While some might argue that all of these delectable snacks are processed,. artificial "fake" foods and "bad for you", this is besides the point. They are all extremely delicious snacks that have withstood the test of time. Tequiza be damned.

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