You know what I'm talking about. I'm talkin' 'bout Lemonheads. 'Bout Peach Rings. Redhots. Now and Laters. Dubble Bubble bubble gum. And most importantly, these guys:
That's right, The Original Ferrara Pan Boston Baked Beans. Some folks euphemistically refer to them as an "old-fashioned" candy or a "classic" candy, but the only thing that pops into my head when I see these is: "gas station" candy. After all, prior to finding them at The Strand today, I had only purchased them or even seen them in gas stations. Usually at the bottom of the rack, betwixt their "no frills" compatriots mentioned above, they live in small boxes and frequently go unnoticed. Actually, I take that back--you see them every single time you guiltily peruse the cheap-o sweets aisle but you consistently pass them up, wondering who the hell actually buys those things anymore?
Well people, I'm here to admit: I do. And I can't really tell you why.
Perhaps it's the quaint red brick pattern on the box. Perhaps it's because they're a sort of candy-wallflower...overlooked, under-appreciated, hidden in dusty corners. I don't know. I've just always liked them.
According to the box, they are candy coated peanuts whose ingredients include corn syrup and beeswax. The food label states that you can chomp on 11 individual "beans" for a mere 70 calories, which isn't so bad. But when I stop and think about what these things actually are, I have to say that I'm simultaneously fascinated and a little icked-out by their concept. I mean, first of all, it's weird enough that beans=peanuts. Secondly, baked beans are a real food, a side dish, traditionally enjoyed at barbecues and summer lunches out on the picnic table. Did the inventor just REALLY EFFING NEED his baked beans on-the-go and available at convenience stores nationwide? What's the logic there?
Boston Baked Beans are enigmatic, I guess. Conceptual confections. Next up: Candy Cole Slaw.