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Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Importance of Gummi Bears

I have an unhealthy relationship with gummi bears.  For as long as I can remember, I have craved them.  To this day, when I walk through the candy aisle of a grocery store, I squeeze all the candy packages to see if they are hard or soft.....soft meaning, of course, gummi-jackpot..  I don't really buy them, I just sqeeze them.  I have a particular obsession with pineapple gummi bears, or in non-gummi speak, the clear ones.  Those are the ones I seek out, the ones I eat first.  I NEVER mix two colors/flavors at the same time, especially the pineapple..that would be wrong, blurring the flavors.

Haribo, Trolli, and Black Forrest are the Mac Daddies of the gummi world.  They invented them in the late 1800's and have certainly perfected them.  They are very similar, with some differences.  Haribo are firmer and their red is raspberry, when all the other reds are cherry.  Trolli are gooier and chewier....the way your dentist would love, sticking eternally between and around your teeth.  My dentist, twice a year, implores me to stop eating gummi bears.  Yeah, right!  He needs gummies to send his kids through college.  There, I said it.  I am not at all immune to buying those skanky three-for-a-dollar bags you see in gas stations.  They are, after all, gummi bears.  Any gummi is better than no gummi.  I have a bag of those on my kitchen counter, un-opened.  The minute I open a bag...done.  Bag empty.  I have to be careful.  Rationing is not an option.

Last night, the Faerie Princess posted a photo of a candy bin counter from an area grocery.  It pulled me right out of my wine buzz....sobering, almost.  Candy bins make me dizzy in the same way  breakfast buffets do.  Do I need 2 pounds of bacon?  Do I need 5 bags of gummies?  All of those gummies with serve yourself scoops.  Cute little scoops.  Cute little, how many gummies will it hold, scoops.  When the Hamburg cinemas first opened a few years ago, there was a gummi wall on the right of the ticket takers.  An ENTIRE wall of clear plastic bins full of  individual colors and flavors.  I had never seen such a thing of beauty.  I can still see the one bin filled completeley with pineapple gummies....full of clear, shiny little pineapple bits of happiness.  The sheer thought makes the back of mouth ache.  Jr.Faerie Princess asked me if I had ever had chocolate covered gummies.  WHAT?  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  How could this bit of culinary invention, nay, innovation escape the bounds of my knowing or having?  Then she said they only chocolate-cover the pineapple ones!!! Verklempt, undone.  Where are these "things"? Where I ask?

As a testament to my devotion and love of gummi bears,  I made the ultimate sacrifice last year:  I gave them up for Lent. Heavy boots.  Heavy sackcloth.

It was hard.  It was long.  But, when the bells chimed in Easter at the Great Vigil, I reached into my coat pocket, tore open my secret bag, and had a fist full of gummies...every flavor in one bite.  Heaven!

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