Who among us doesn't fondly recall the sheer joy of a trip to the local convenience store as a child? Maybe your parents had just handed you a dollar, or maybe you'd found some spare change lying on the sidewalk. If you were like me, you instantly converted whatever newfound pittance was burning a hole in your pocket into a small brown paper bag of your favourite treats: chips, chocolate bars, Freezies, maybe even licorice.
Forget change, I wanted to leave that store broke. And that's where penny candy came in handy. What good is three cents, especially when there are gummi bears, Swedish Berries, and, my personal favourite, Kraft Caramels to be had for just a penny apiece?
My childhood love affair with Kraft Caramels -- light only, thank you very much -- was intense. This was candy that knew how to entice: the transparent wrapper is genius, the junk food equivalent of a beautiful woman wearing an outfit that reveals just a hint of décolletage. Giddy with anticipation, I'd remove the wrapper, pop the candy in my mouth, and resist the urge to chew. Some pleasures must be savoured slowly to be appreciated properly. Then I'd wait for those sweet, creamy, and vanilla notes to wash over my palate. With uncharacteristic discipline, I would occasionally consume an entire caramel without so much as a single bite -- the square of caramel would just dissolve away into nothing. Ordinarily, however, I would abandon self control and rip into the candy with my teeth.