IN GHOOOOOSTLY PROXIMITY to Halloween, October 28 is National Chocolate Day, and Portland companies are dressing up to make the fact that you're too old to trick-or-treat a wonderful thing. Fun-sized Whoppers and Tootsie Rolls suck anyway. Try these sweets and pairings instead:

Pinkleton's Curious Caramel Corn/ Pitch Dark Chocolate
This starts with Pinkleton's renowned salted vanilla caramel corn, made with organic butter and Jacobsen's sea salt, and goes nuclear by drenching it all in Pitch Dark's 62 percent single-origin Nicaraguan chocolate. At this year's Nicky USA's Wild About Game event, every single bag sold out... at an event where almost all the food is free. It's crunchy and sweet but not cloying and just, well, magical. Go forth and snack on this. Available at Pitch Dark Chocolate, 5353 NE Sandy, $8

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Moonstruck Chocolate/Sunshine Dairy
This isn't Nesquik. This isn't Yoo-hoo. This is serious drinking chocolate. The difference, you see, is that while all those chocolate-milk suckers on the shelves just stir cocoa powder into cow juice, this new collaboration blends the chocolate ganache Moonstruck uses in their truffles into local whole milk from Sunshine Dairy. It's rich as hell—like, so rich it took me three tries to finish a pint. I'm not complaining. Available at most local grocery stores, $3.49 pint/$6.99 quart

BridgePort Brewing/Scharffen Berger Chocolate
This isn't a mashup so much as two great things: beer and chocolate. Portland's BridgePort and San Fran's Scharffen Berger got together for what I'm sure was a very carbohydrate-fueled day and crafted some pairings, including the Tilikum White IPA with Scharffen Berger's 33 percent cacao milk chocolate with toasted coconut and macadamia bar. Available at most local grocery stores, prices vary

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