Of all the world’s confections, hard candies are perhaps the most misunderstood. Typically uncomplicated in flavor and shape, unvaried in texture, and flat out boring to eat, I’m sure that we’re all guilty of a certain prejudice against the simple sugar concoctions. As a younger candy connoisseur, plain lollipops and suckers were always the last thing left in my Halloween stash, gathering dust for months on end until the next Halloween rolled around and the unwanted plastic- and foil-wrapped sweets would meet a sad end in the trash can. While I can now appreciate the occasional peppermint or lemon drop, I would still pass them up in a heartbeat if offered any sort of alternative.
Normally the existence of these plain-jane treats wouldn’t even cross my mind, but it just so happened that I was cleaning up the pantry the other day and discovered an old bin of candies. Brightly colored wrappings protected their sweet treasures, waiting patiently for an open mouth. Perhaps leftover from a couple years of holidays long gone, it was really such a shame to dump every last one only because they were hard candies. Sure they were old enough to see a few birthdays pass, but they were still perfectly good!
Scattering a handful across the table to get a better look, amidst the riff-raff there was one large peppermint in particular to be quite eye-catching. Observing big the bright white and red stripes carefully formed in a pleasing array, I couldn’t believe how this one had escaped me earlier. Just big enough that it might need to be smashed before fitting in one’s mouth, this was no sweet nothing to be whispered in one’s ear; It practically screamed of substance and body.
Sure, it’s nothing special in terms of taste, but sometimes it’s the simpler things in life that bring us pleasure. While the rest of that stash met its fate in the garbage, this one was worth definitely savoring.