There is true beauty in seeing a child eat a piece of candy for the first time. That moment of discovery. "What is this? This nectar of the gods that has befallen me." That moment of clarity. "This is what adults must be doing all the time that us kids aren't allowed to do. This is what all of the patience and hard work boils down to. This single ultimate goal. This is what they lock in cabinets. What they hide from us. This is what they do while we are asleep. This is what they wrestle for in their bed that one time I walked in."
For some of us, that first gummy bear or crappy generic jelly bean was merely the gateway candy. We don't even look back to it or even remember its name. It was just the moment that we knew that wasn't it. There were bigger and stronger goodies out there and we would eat any mushy pea and "clean" our room to get at those candies. If you wanted us to bark like a duck and log roll in dirt we'd do it. (We knew ducks didn't bark. We didn't care. Dignity is something you learn far after you commit to how far you'll go to get a Blow Pop.)
Addicts? Hardly. We can quit. We could quit. From time to time some of us do. We embark on juice cleanses, diets where you count points, lent, and temporary veganism? But we come back. Like a return to a celestial sweetness that shrouds us and beats back the dark forces at work in the world. Impending all encompassing governmental control? Oh I am sorry. I didn't hear you. I was looking at my Sweetarts roll because I just got two grape in a row and that is like winning the freaking lottery.
Oh, you are going to judge us? OK. Fine. You are better. You are all grown up. You have your fish oil pills and flax seed. You win! I say "Nay!" (I don't now why...) Look inward good sir. Deep inside you there is a child drowning in fat free grossness. Throw him a red vine and help him out! Don't drop him a Lifesaver. That is a pretend candy and everyone knows it. Give them something fun. Watch them smile and relish that treasure. That is how candy should be enjoyed. Not some psuedo candy barely flavored that is stashed in your desk like it is something shameful.
Today we stand up. Today we unite. Today we devour.
(Coincidentally, today we will be looking at three chewy candies. The 1-5 scale shall be in honor of childhood memories.)
First up we have Milkita. Milkita is a melon flavored milk taffy. (Ugh.) This snack comes from Japan but found its way into my candy bowl by our talented photographer friend Nate. He saw this in a market and figured it deserved a home on this blog. I have said it before to the homeless and I will say it again "My friends are awesome." (Before you get all "that was a mean thing to say to a homeless man" he was one of those uppity self righteous homeless people. Man, I hope he reads this when he checks his email at the library.)
Let's just take a look at the bag here. We have a cow who isn't wearing pants. That wouldn't be weird but the cow is wearing a shirt. So.......Alright, the cow is playing soccer. There is also a melon who is doing jumping jacks in the nude. Can we just agree that this all seems questionable. There is also milk just erupting throughout the back ground. Just a milk magma spew ejecting from an invisible fault line. Next to the jumping baby melon is a huge chunk of one of its parents and the cow's shirt has a number 7 on it. That is some real crazy business. (I apologize for the quality of the pictures.) There is also a sentence on the bottom of the window that reads "Try and taste the difference of all our other flavors."
Not the most confident invitation. (I could see this tagline working for Tacobell. Because it is all the same.) Seriously. Try? Alright. The back also says "Candy is slippery and can cause choking." That sentence is under allergy information. Allergy? I guess "some people" are allergic to "slippery". "Yes, I can't have anything with tree nuts, gluten, or slippery. Oh this has slippery? Damn. Thanks for the warning."
So I am guessing that the cow beat the melon at soccer as the cow is now assuming some sort of disco victory stance and has removed it's shirt as if to say "I am not number seven anymore! I am number one!" Can we just agree that fleshy hoofs are pretty gross. (You hear that, dudes in flip flops?) There is also a weird vortex coming out of the cows posterior. Is this another warning? I am not sure.
Taste wise: I have previously covered a melon milk drink that I froze into a delectable summer treat. This candy is pretty comparable to that. Minus drinkability and carbonation and plus slippery. When you first bite into it the candy yields slightly to the force of your teeth. You get a bit of melon flavor at this point and then comes a milk essence. Now, I don't drink milk. I think it is creepy. However I could see how people might really enjoy this. It isn't very sweet. I bet if you like creamy things and or melon than this would be right up your alley. It would be a great gift for your soccer team mates and a subtle way to let them know that you indecently expose yourself every time your team scores a goal. "I tried to tell you. Remember the cow with the melons? I am the melon cow." Speaking of that. Why doesn't this cow have an udder?
I give this snack a 3- I remember as a kid that bark chips on the playground often turned into lava but the back chips poured over puke in the hall never did. It was important though to not step in either.-out of 5.
Next we have a new product from the Bazooka candy brand. I found this at a local market. It was sitting on the counter by the cash register. Impulse buy style. I said "I do." and it came home with me. This also has some strange things going on with the wrapper. First of all, it clearly is taffy that you take a pen like tube and squirt sour goo on it and then eat it. That is a lot of work for a candy. I feel like they couldn't get the snack to work so they were like just let the kids do it and they will think it is fun. I don't. Wrap that taffy around that goo and lets go! Make me work for it? Shame on you.
Oh and the flavor is "Knock out punch." A candy where you draw with goo on taffy doesn't strike me as the demographic that would enjoy violence but ok. Sure Bazooka. Lets bring violence into the equation.
Not for children under three? Really? I could have told you that. Nobody under three is writing anything of consequence and certainly nothing on taffy. They are still wearing diapers. They aren't book keeping or writing checks. (I am not a parent but I feel like all of my personifications and developmental judgements are spot on today.)
Dare to drop? Isn't that the whole appeal of this half cocked idea? It isn't really a dare if that is literally part of enjoying the process. "Look kid. This taffy isn't great. The flavor is like a really seriously cheap Airheads that got super stale. The only thing that may improve your candy situation here is this sour slime. Dare to drop." That is hardly a dare. It is only up hill from the cruddy candy. POUR THAT STUFF ON IT! Also next time kid, don't buy impulse candy when you are buying a 6 pack of tall boys. You know it won't end well.
It is nice that they are all individually wrapped and that there is a cap on the goo pen. You don't want your goo pen dripping everywhere. The weird thing about the goo pen is the cap has a piece sticking down the side. Like a regular pen cap. Like a kid is going to put it in their shirt pocket. Like a real pen. "See each piece is wrapped so he can put them in his pocket and when wants a snack he just unwraps one and squirts his goo on it and goes." Good planning. But if that kid is like me. One candy is one serving. Not one piece. One candy. The item as a whole. All that wrapping is going in the trash after one sitting. What a waste.
How does it taste? Pretty much as I have already explained. The taffy is waxy and neutral. It has a touch of punch flavor as it becomes grainy in your mouth. Man what a fun candy. Then the semi sour slime mixes with the sandy super sugary breakdown of the taffy and it ends with your teeth wanting to be in a different mouth and your tongue regretting being yours. It tastes cheap and poorly conceived. (Like any song by lmfao) This seems like a clear case of bad design meets novelty meets buyers remorse. Could this have been fun? Yes. Make the taffy into little checks and then the kid signs the check with the pen and the tagline is "Don't write checks that your mouth can't cash." Right? Give those little bankers what they want.
I give this taffy a 1-I remember few of my teachers names from elementary school but I will never forget the name of the boy who pooped his pants on the bus. Keep your head up Stevie Shannon. Wherever you are.-out of 5. (I bet he doesn't drive school busses)
This is Ninja gummy. This candy hails from Japan and comes in a variety of flavors. Wonderful flavors like grape... I love grape candies from Japan. Sure there are other flavors but why list them because grape is the best. What you say? This doesn't look like grape? That is because it isn't. Yeah. I decided to get Ume. Now if you don't know what Ume is than l shall educate you. Ume is a fruit that americans refer to as a plum but it is more closely related to an apricot. Yeah, it is like a hybrid of two grandma flavors. Neither is as much fun as grape. You often hear kids wanting grape juice. You don't often hear kids wanting apricot juice. If you do hear a kid say that just know that its parents are jerks. Jerks who probably aren't fun and their house smells of stale air, boredom, and cottage cheese. Sneak that kid a Rollo and blow their mind.
Now there is something else I have to tell you about this snack. It isn't just "plum/apricot" it is salt cured plum/apricot.
Listen carefully. All other warnings you have ever received pale in comparison to what I am about to tell you. Everything your parents warned you about is bullsh*t. Those things won't kill you. Heck I bet those things are fun and make for good stories when used in moderation. Now turn off your tv. Silence your cell phone. Tell whomever is around you to shut their pie hole.
THIS IS IMPORTANT.
This gummy is THE worst thing I have tried. Yes. It steals the crown from the vomit inducing Bacon Tabs. (Even though the thought of B.T.s still makes me get the vomit salivations.) These things are so evil.
When you heard as a child that bad things happen in parks at night-this is what those bad things are.
When you hear about bad things happening in a prison shower-this is what they were referring to.
When you heard Texas Chainsaw Massacre was based on a true story-THIS IS THAT STORY.
Here is the breakdown of possibly the worst candy experience on the planet:
Upon opening the pouch you get a whiff of what it would be like if fruit leather could poop on actual leather which also happened to be on fire. It is musky. Like if you put a fruity lotion on the uppermost inner thighs of an elephant. Jogged it around for an hour and then smelled it. Not for the faint of heart.
(Before we get too deep into this unsettling moment I'd like to ask you a question. Did you ever try the Miller light with salted lime? No? Well it tasted like someone sweat in your bud light with lime. It was disgusting. Ok, carry on.)
The first thing you taste is a slight tang which gave me a false sense of security. I hoped now that it would be just intense and fruity. WRONG. Then it is like all of the air in your mouth is sucked out and a dark shroud of baneful beastly evil envelopes your tongue. Then comes the whatever fruit flavor which is quickly covered by a disgusting wave of salt. There are evil layers of sickness trapped in your mouth and as you chew "fruitlessly" to get it down it keeps changing and becoming saltier and more shoe closety (not a word) in your mouth. My eyes began to water and my throat casts its vote not to be involved in anymore salted plum saliva. So around ten chews or so I expelled it into the trash and attempted to undo the damage it rout in my mouth. Which left me with no fruit flavor. Just a sense of aged decay, sickening salt, and sadness.
My mouth, once a playground for candy, was now nothing more than a bottomless wasteland of sadness and deep regret. The clarity I once had gained has now been marred. I would like to say that I will bounce back from this but this is like when a kid's first pet dies. I know now that death exists. It is my mouth. My mouth becometh death. Thanks to you Ume. You and your ninjas in business suits and reading glasses. (Look at the package again.)
I give this snack a 0- I remember swimming once and I was about to jump in the pool when a bee stung my back. I turned just in time to see it ripping its stinger end off and its bee intestines spilling out on my back. I 'd rather relive that moment every hour than eat this ume gummy again.-out of 5.
*Thank you to Nate for his submission. Thank you for reading. Now I need to go burn some sage on my mouth. My taste buds have informed me that we aren't "buds" anymore. Here's to building bridges!
p.s. I bought the salted plum gummy in a three pack. FML