Monday, November 30, 2009

It's That Time of Year...

What: Peppermint Pig
Where it's from: New York
Cost: Unknown (Purchased by Basia)

My neighbours put up their Christmas lights today. Although it has yet to snow in Toronto, it has become impossible to ignore the fact that winter and the Christmas season are soon to be upon us. I just moved into this neighbourhood, and in the course of unpacking I found a treasure trove of forgotten treats randomly tossed into boxes many months ago. This pig was given to me by the lovely Basia after she played a few shows in New York last fall.

I was a bit puzzled by such a large hard candy, since it would be difficult to eat. Let's be honest: no one really likes jaw breakers. They get sticky and take forever to finish. The pig was very cute but seemed impractical. I looked into it a bit and discovered that what I had was a Peppermint Pig, most likely made in Saratoga Springs, NY.

A small company called Saratoga Sweets has revived an old tradition from that area. Families would purchase a candy pig around Christmastime and pass it around from person to person at their holiday dinner. Each guest would give it a tap with a little mallet and tell a happy story from the previous year.

I had neither the traditional body velvet bag to put the pig in nor any company, so after one last look at his little sad face I unceremoniously dumped him in a plastic bag and smashed him to bits with the smallest hammer I could find.

When I finished waking up the neighbours with my hammering I carefully poured the shards into a bowl and selected the choicest piece. I believe it was the rump.

Remember when I said that I'd had it since last year? Well, it tasted just like a year-old candy cane. Pleasantly pepperminty, but with that odd chewy-crunchy texture of aged candy. I have to admit that I have eaten many stale candy canes in my time and quite like it, so it was not a problem for me.

The rest of the candy carcass has joined the other "bowls of temptation" on my counter. If there are any bits left in a week or so I will mix them into some melted white chocolate to make pepto-bismol-coloured Santa Bark.

Any tradition that involves eating candy and sharing stories with loved ones is a tradition I'm willing to adopt.

Especially if it inspires a song like this one:


In other news...

I have set up a twitter account which you can follow if you want to find out when new posts go up and other little tidbits.

It feels good to write again.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

At my door the leaves are falling...


I may not have posted anything for the last year or so but I have continued to eat weird foods and have resolved to begin writing about it again. So please check back soon to learn about peppermint pigs, limited edition chocolate bars and whatever new things my touring friends bring back from their travels.

And since I am semi-permanently based in Toronto I am going to try to make a few of the treats I have enjoyed.

Happy eating!