Hippity, HoppityPosted: April 7, 2011
Every year around this time the world goes pastel. Or at least supermarkets and drugstores across America do. We begin to see a predominance of jelly beans, and the chocolate bunnies look as though they are plotting a mutiny. That plastic grass that we use to fill children’s Easter baskets seems to show up in places we would least expect it. The Easter bunny, for all intents and purposes, is unavoidable. This has me contemplating Easter eats. Every holiday has its nasty token candy. Halloween has those peanut butter (at least I think they’re peanut butter) candies wrapped simply in orange or black wax paper. Valentine’s Day has those little heart-shaped candies (that seem to be made from chalk) bearing sayings significantly sweeter than the candies on which they are written. And Easter has the non-descript semi-egg-shaped (or is it a jelly bean appearance they’re going for?) that are supposed to be filled with cream. Or maybe it’s a marshmallow filling. You know the ones. They come in cellophane wrappers, and I’m pretty sure they have no name. We hide them when we run out of brightly colored plastic eggs filled with the good candy, and we hope children don’t realize just how much they have been cheated. Every year, even as an adult with no children, I find myself in possession of one of these candies. And every year I find myself hopeful that the recipe is finally right. By all appearances these candies should be delicious. They have the promising pastel color, the ergonomic shape (perfect for stuffing one’s face), the suggestion of a socially acceptable sugar overload. With a “here’s hoping” I take a bite, and I have yet to be satisfied with the result. I can’t say that I have ever tasted plastic, I mean really tasted it, but I’m wondering if that is in fact what is used to manufacture the so-called candy coating. The “creamy” (or “marshmallowy”) inside flakes into pieces, leaving an unidentifiable aftertaste and the fear that perhaps what I’ve just eaten is not, in fact, approved by the FDA. Perhaps there was a time when these candies were fresh. Perhaps there was a time when the only health hazard they presented was that of their sugar content. That time is not now. That time is probably not in the past decade. My hope for this Easter is that children everywhere will be allowed to stick to the chocolate bunnies and jelly beans that, in comparison with these unnamable concoctions, seem harmless enough.