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Monkey See, Monkey Do

Monkey bread
I love monkey bread. Or at least I think I do, as I haven’t eaten the doughy treat in decades. Only I had no idea that’s what it was called until a few weeks ago when I read a bit on Serious Eats pitting the canned biscuit version (the type I’m familiar with) against a baking mix.

Then, monkey bread popped up again courtesy of Esquire’s nostalgic look back at holidays of yore. 1984 brought us Nancy Reagan’s version, which uses a scratch recipe no Pillsbury conveniences.

Are ‘80s confections making a resurgence? Yes, I’ll reiterate my loathing for ‘80s music for the zillionth time but Reagan-era food? I could get into that. Bring on the taco salad served in fried tortilla bowls and Jello-O poke cakes.

TLC was recently playing some longwinded show, which I’ve since deduced is Home Made Simple where they redecorate a house and teach the inhabitants how to cook and it goes on for an hour. I was just using it as  background noise until I was drawn in while catching a glimpse of what I call Chinese chews (apparently, nothing like these more commonly agreed upon Chinese chews), another treat I haven’t encountered in over 20 years. Melted chocolate and butterscotch chips mixed with peanuts and those crispy chow mein noodles and formed into blobs chilled on a baking sheet.

It looks like some people call them haystacks, but that just isn’t right to me. Haystacks? Monkey Bread? How come I’m only hearing these monikers well into my 30s?

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  1. someone in st louis #

    Wait. When did taco salad in fried tortilla bowls ever go away?

    I think it’s okay calling them “haystacks” if you never known no better.

    Here in the Heartland, we spell the name R-e-A-g-a-n. I think it’s something to do with an old Bing Crosby single.

    November 17, 2008

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