What were you expecting when you read the title of my column? A rant about political ads or debates, or some other issue burning up national headlines?
Yeah, no. Not even close.
Nothing hard-core in the following lines. Instead, I’m here today, to talk about going too far with food experimentation.
No, I don’t mean throwing in preservatives or pumping cows full of steroids. Remember, I said nothing hard-core? What do you mean, you don’t remember that? You weren’t listening, were you? For shame.
Anyway, it’s come to my horrified attention, that we have gone too far when experimenting with mass-marketed “junk” foods. Yes, yes, I see you there, brownie M& M’s lovers. No need to puff up like a blow fish. Even I admit there are exceptions, which I will get to later.
Now, where was I? Oh, yeah. Too far.
See, I believe it all started in the late 1980s, early 1990s. I was just a young whippersnapper at the time (I just love that terminology and don’t get to use it as much as I’d like), but I clearly remember when Halloween rolled around. (Please, it’s October; you didn’t think you were going to get by without me mentioning Halloween at least once in one of my columns, did ya?) We lived waaaaaaaay up in Mellen at the time, which is near Ashland, at the very northern end of the state. It’s not Canada, but you can see it from there. The town is small, but at that time, we had the tiny Red & White Store, where you could find most anything you needed for a quick meal.
The selection wasn’t huge, but looking back, we didn’t need a big variety. The fruits and vegetables have never looked brighter or prettier anywhere else, although I picked up an
ever-lasting hatred of red grapes there. Those little devils must have had thousands of seeds in each one. I also must admit, the cereal purchased there always seemed stale.
Actually, now that I think back, I much preferred going to Copps every couple weeks, in Ironwood, Mich., for the variety of food offered. They had a huge selection, the best Blue Bunny fudgsicles, ever, child-sized shopping carts, two of the clerks let me scan items, and there was a child’s helicopter ride that went up and down for a quarter. Plus, we sometimes got to eat at either McDonald’s or Dairy Queen when we were there.
But, I digress.
Red & White was the first place I ever saw Halloween Oreos. They came in small, individual packages, with maybe four cookies in each, for 50 cents, which I paid for with 50-cent pieces I “collected” (there were a lot of them around then).
It may be just that I have such good memories of Mellen, but I swear, the Halloween Oreos there, were the best I’ve ever tasted. Not that it keeps me from eating the ones I find wherever now, mind you. I know the cream is just colored orange, with fun decorative symbols on the cookie, but Halloween ones taste better!
Unfortunately, having Halloween Oreos was the starting point for other flavors over time, such as chocolate, mint, Christmas-themed, birthday cake, peanut butter, red velvet and golden Oreos. Then, of course, there are the double stuffed and mega stuffed ones, which are Heaven on earth!!!!!!!!!!
After they came up with the Halloween, chocolate and extra stuffed varities, they could have skipped the others altogether. If not for them, other companies might not have gone off the rails with flavors.
Do we really need chili nut, coconut, crunchy raspberry, white pumpkin pie or Mexican jalapeño peanut M& M’s? Same with Skittles, with their darkside and sweet heat varieties.
These are just a few examples; there are, of course, many other weird combinations in every candy, cookie and ice cream available. One combination, however, should definitely have never even gotten past the concept stage on the drawing board – Thanksgiving meal candy corn from Brach’s.
In the bag, is candy corn tasting like roasted turkey, green beans, stuffing, ginger glazed carrots, cranberry sauce and sweet potato pie.
Your glasses are fine, no need to change your prescription. This is a real thing, it is not made up! A friend bravely decided to try said Thanksgiving candy corn. If she had asked me, I would have done my best to dissuade her, but since she didn’t, a very funny video she had the presence of mind to record while she first tasted the treats, ensued.
Even candy canes aren’t safe! Makers of the hard candy have come out with flavors like pickles, bacon, wasabi and sodafl avored canes. Another candy that must surely shake its head as it rolls off the manufacturing line, is jelly beans. Although, who wouldn’t like to eat cayenne, habanera, Krispy Kreme and ice cream flavored candy?
No sane person, that’s who!
As I said, there are some varieties that branched off from the originals, that I absolutely adore, such as sour Skittles, blueberry candy canes and the aforementioned extra stuffed Oreos. But for most of them, I’m plain-Jane-original-flavor-gung-ho, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
If you want to risk your bodily health and taste buds trying these multitudes of flavors, that’s your business. Just please be aware, they may not be very good and could make you sick to your stomach. Also, I will ridicule you mercilessly.
As for me, I will stick with my tried-and-true flavors. And if anyone has any cherry or orange Tootsie Rolls, those are on my “exceptions list” and can be showered on me with abandon. After all, Halloween is just around the corner.