Not even Marie Antoinette could have envisioned brownies when, after being told during the French Revolution that the peasants were out of bread, she allegedly muttered those infamous words, "Let them eat cake."
Otherwise history might have had to have been rewritten. Of course, to chocoholics, brownies by any other name are bread. Which brings us to this week's subject of how the Great Brownies "War" was narrowly averted.
By now I'm sure you've either heard or read about the local "Killer Brownies" mess between Akron's West Point Market and Buehler's Fresh Food Stores, of which we have one that was just recently opened at the corner of 619 and South Main Street right here smack dab in the middle of the Portage Lakes. This brownies mess has been in the news, both in print and on the airwaves, and has been talked about among brownie lovers throughout the holiday season. If you're living a single, solitary, sheltered secluded life and haven't heard, here's the skinny.
Many years ago, so the story goes, when Russ Vernon was the owner of West Point Market, his store sold brownies under the name of "Killer Brownies." Vernon obtained the recipe, so the story goes, from a Wisconsin friend who had discovered it on the back of a cake mix box. This fellow dabbled with the recipe, developed "Killer Brownies" and then gave it to his friend, Vernon.
Vernon, in turn, shared it with a family in Dayton who owned a number of markets. Because the Vernon family wasn't interested in nationwide marketing, they gave their blessings to this Dayton family to sell them nationwide providing the brownies were not sold in Northeastern Ohio under the name "Killer Brownies." That right was reserved for Vernon alone. Recently, the Dayton family struck a deal with Buehler's to make and sell the brownies in their stores. That's when the chocolate hit the fan.
"'Killer Brownies' are being made available to Buehler's through an exclusive, special licensing agreement," read a news release from Buehler's. And then, when they posted the same on their website and Facebook page, powdered cocoa ran amok.
However, to their credit, the CEO of the Dayton family markets took full responsibility for the error. When told that Buehler's would be marketing the "Killer Brownies" nationwide, they claimed they didn't realize there was a Buehler's in Summit County. When they found out, the CEO immediately contacted both West Point Market and Buehlers to apologize.
Bob Buehler, Vice President of Marketing for Buehler's, said it was an honest mistake and that Buehlers would not be selling brownies under the "Killer Brownies" name. According to Buehler, their website and face page posts that mentioned the "Killer Brownies" were removed.
Buehlers also said they may tweak the recipe a little and change the name, but won't sell them as "Killer Brownies." And then he indicated that he'd like to see the stores hold a contest and ask customers for suggestions.
Page 2 of 3 - Personally, while I do like chocolate, I've never been a big fan of brownies. And to me, something called "Killer brownies" would be much too rich for my tastes. When we were dating more than four decades ago, I told that to my wife and watched her light up like a 100 watt Christmas tree bulb. When asked why she was so delighted at my rejection of brownies, she replied, "Whoever marries you, it means all the more brownies for them."
And then she got this strange look in her eyes that a woman sometimes gets when she suspects she's approaching that day she'll be walking down the aisle. And while our marriage didn't happen for another 16 months, it was shortly thereafter when we suddenly became engaged. To this day I like to think she said yes to my marriage proposal not because I didn't favor brownies as much as she did, but rather for my good features, such as my congenial personality, highly sought-after intelligence, good common sense, surprisingly fine singing voice and superb good looks.
Well, okay, folks. Just forget those last two attributes, but let's face it, three out of five aren't bad.
So I got to thinking about the tweaking of the recipe and a new name. If I was Bob Buehler, I'd add one extra ingredient: diced maraschino cherry bits. Have you ever had a cherry dipped in chocolate sauce? Or even a slice of Black Forest cake? For all you non-bakers, that's a devils food cake loaded with cherries. Or even a sundae made with cherry vanilla ice cream, smothered with hot fudge and then topped with maraschino cherries. The two go together like a baseball and glove, like an Irishman and an ice cold glass of carbohydrates or like ham and cheese.
Think about it. To a chocoholic, a rich, delicious, brownie loaded with diced maraschino cherry bits and drizzled with a caramel sauce would be something to die for. It would be as close to enjoying a slice of heaven as you'll ever find here on earth.
Which brings me to the second part of my tweaking. I'd simply change the name to, "Brownies 2 Die 4." No, that's not a misspelling. In this age of cyberspace when we now write with digits and phonetically spelled words, it could bring in a whole new generation of customers.
Can you see the kids tweeting their friends, "i bot sum 'brownies 2 die 4' at bewlers in plx. yum, yum. ther so good i want 2 die."
And their friends tweet back, "get sum 4 me nex tim 2. i luv brownies."
Of course, if it ever goes viral, it wouldn't take long for the world to know about Buehler's "Superb Killer Brownies 2 Die 4," the ones that are loaded with diced maraschino cherry bits. Oh my!
Page 3 of 3 - Now if only I could figure out a way to keep the wife and rest of my chocoholic fixated family members from spending what's left of the family fortune on Buehlers brownies, I will have felt as if I've achieved a great triumph in life.
On the other hand, the next time the wife tells me we're out of bread I could just give in and say what Marie Antoinette might have said, "Let 'em eat brownies."
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