Sometimes — once in a lifetime even — something comes along that makes you want to shout from the rooftops, sing in the rain, and hug strangers. That thing – for me – is Malley’s Buckeyes.
It’s unclear how I managed the first thirty years of my life without these little buttons from heaven, but I certainly don’t plan on spending the next thirty without them. It’s no secret I love peanut butter. Peanut butter flavored — anything. It’s the question I ask when waiters offer a dessert menu — “do you have anything with peanut butter?” It’s my go-to meal before a long run, my favorite snack, and over the years family and friends have become keenly aware I can easily be bribed to do just about anything with peanut butter-laced desserts and treats.
Last July, my friend and coworker Jim introduced me to Malley’s. He pilgrimages home to Cleveland every year for his birthday and brings back what I consider its finest contributions to society. Buckeyes, of course, but also Malley’s Fudge (utterly sinful and fattening and DELICIOUS) and Bertman’s Ball Park Mustard (quite simply the World’s Best). (The Necco candy was along for the ride — and the photo — but is not actually from Cleveland. Just for accuracy’s sake.) And I am fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of such a bounty.
The above photo captures the scene that greeted me at work after the long 4th of July weekend. And I’ve struggled with just the right way to express myself ever since. I know, I know. It’s been over a month ago. (Jim, YES. I KNOW.) But this cannot be handled lightly. These are MALLEY’S. BUCKEYES.
I started to write an ode. A love letter. But that wasn’t quite right. Then I started a “Top 10 Things I Love About Cleveland” list, but seeing as I’ve never actually been there and all I really know about them is they make yummy peanut butter candy and the World’s Best Mustard — it didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel genuine. And the Buckeyes deserve that much. Cleveland deserves that much.
In order to properly pay my respects to both Malley’s Buckeyes and the city responsible for their existence, I’ve decided to write that “Top 10” list — properly. I will add it to the Life List so it’s all official-like, and I will – someday (soon) – explore Cleveland deeply enough to appropriately craft that list. I’ll probably have to get Jim’s ultimate approval, and maybe I’ll even get him to join me for such an adventure. But until then, I will relish the fruits of Cleveland from afar.
Disclaimer: I have not been compensated by Malley’s for this post. And I certainly would never promise to write such a glowing tribute to an inanimate object and/or a city in which I’ve never set foot in exchange for bribes such as the promise of more Buckeyes from my good friend, Jim. Though if Malley’s and/or the city of Cleveland somehow see this and want to reward my genuine commitment and loyalty with a lifetime supply of Buckeyes and/or a key to the city I will not put up a fight.