Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sweet Treat of the Week: Kate Reilly

This week's Sweet Treat of the Week comes to us from Kate Reilly, a writer and author in North Carolina. You can find her (and her blogger-in-arms Sir Buffalo Sushi) at Polka Dot Suitcase, a site devoted to the fun things in life. And one of her favorite fun things? Playing with her candy before she eats it!

What is your favorite candy?

Sponge candy from Oliver's Candies in Batavia, New York. Covered in dark chocolate, please. And you have to eat it the right way -- Kate's way: First, bite down gently on the top and bottom of one side of the cube. The chocolate will pop off in a solid, flat "wall." Then bite the adjacent side, and repeat, until you've just got the nekkid sponge candy with a top and a bottom of chocolate. Pop off the top and eat. The bottom, for some reason, is hardest to get off (it's thinnest), so you can either pop that off, if it'll come off, or put the whole sponge candy cube into your mouth at that point. Let it dissolve slowly. Then pick the sticky remainders out of your teeth, and reach for another piece. BLISS. (It's probably a good thing I live in NC now, or else I'd be in trouble with my dentist.) But...wah. Now I want Oliver's!

Share with us a childhood candy memory.

Every Easter, my family would pile in the car and we'd drive to Oliver's (about an hour away). Up the rickety wooden stairs, push open the glass door, and just inhale. It was what Willy Wonka's factory must have smelled like. Except the women who worked there were benevolent seniors, not orange-faced small people who sang spooky songs and rolled away inflated children. ...what was I saying? Oh, Easter. Right. Well, we'd walk up and down each aisle (there were only two) very slowly, looking at all the hand-made, shaped chocolates, trying to pick out what we wanted for our baskets. We didn't have a lot of money, so we couldn't pick out a ton -- and come to think of it, our parents must have saved up for this special trip! Would it be the orange-chocolate bunny? The milk chocolate cross with the white chocolate flower? The hard part was "forgetting" about what you picked until it showed up in your Easter basket later.

What's your favorite fruit flavor in candy?

Grape! Which tastes nothing like real grape, of course. Do real grapes really have a lot of flavor? They're not something you go, "mmmm, grapey..."when you pop 'em in your mouth. But grape-flavored candy? Mmmm...grapey.

Which do you prefer: gummies or hard candies?

Probably gummies. Preferably sour gummies. Ideally the really sour gummy worms. But not the yellow/green ones. Am I getting too specific here? Well, you asked. My beloved dog, years ago, would eat anything and everything she had the chance to gobble. I was eating sour gummy worms, and she came up and asked for one. I told her, "You're not going to like these." But her puppy eyes said, "Oh, yes! Yes, in fact, I will!" So I tossed her one. Here's the thing: She HATED it -- way too sour. But don't you know -- she ate it. It about made her gag, but she ate it. Then she looked at me, eyes watering,tail wagging: "Another?" But you asked about me. Right. Thing about hard candies is I always accidentally swallow them. I can't help it. I can sit and very studiously suck on them, but they're so slippery! Next thing you know, it makes a squirty dash toward the back of my mouth and zip! Down the gullet. Hard candies are sneaky. You can trust gummies.

What's your favorite candy holiday?

I just found out I missed National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day in March. I love me some chocolate-covered raisins. But is that my favorite candy holiday? Christmas, I'd have to say. Between the specialty candy that comes out (which is really out all year round, but they just shape it into Christmas shapes and it fools me every year), the candy we put on gingerbread houses and the gingerbread train, and the fact that everything at Christmas magically has no calories -- yup, best candy holiday ever.

What's best: milk, dark or white?

Dark! Hands-down. Milk is second place, and I'm a little suspicious of most white chocolate. Some of it tastes too much like "faux" chocolate.

Circus Peanuts: yay or nay?

Nay, nay, nay. From Circus Peanuts stay, stay away. Stay away. (Anyone else remember Patch the Pony?) What are those things, anyway?
Thanks Kate! I hope some Oliver's sponge candy showed up in your Easter basket this year. And for all you Yumsters who don't remember Patch the Pony, don't worry-- neither do I. But you've gotta ask: why the patch?!

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