Saturday, May 17, 2008

Gummy Popcorn

You might think that the words “gummy” and “popcorn” do not belong together, at least not as a description of something you might want to eat. But today at a 99-cent store in Queens,* I spotted this product:

It’s not just Gummy Popcorn, it’s Sour Gummy Popcorn. “Wow, that’s even worse,” you may be thinking. “This is the kind of thing that can bankrupt a farmer.” But of course we’re talking about candy here, not corn,** and sour candy lines range from bears to worms to random shapes, so corn is not terribly exceptionable here.

I wasn’t going to buy it, but then I saw this challenge:

My immediate response was, “I bet you can’t!” So I had to get it and find out for myself.

The candy pieces are actually pretty similar in appearance to the pictures on the box.

As you can see, the pieces are a bit larger around than a quarter, and of course much thicker.

Please, don’t feed Sour Gummy Popcorn into the machines at the Laundromat. After wrestling with the plastic bag for several minutes*** I was able to open it and free the candy nuggets. My husband looked alarmed. “Guess which flavor I’m not eating,” he said. “Oh, that’s right—all of them.”

They smell a bit like marshmallows—probably because they contain gelatin—but the first taste impression is sour, sour, sour. I bit into one and chewed and chewed (they’re not kidding when they call these “gummy”), and then guessed the flavor. What are my choices again? Apple, strawberry, watermelon, and popcorn. (Popcorn? Are you kidding me?) I chewed and mused. Apple, I think. Curious, my husband tried one too. After some deliberation, he said, “It’s either strawberry or watermelon. Oh, there’s the aftertaste. Watermelon.”

I can confirm that Sour Gummy Popcorn offers 99 cents worth of entertainment. But I can’t recommend it as something to eat.
* Just so you know: Queens is the world champion of 99-cent stores. Our neighborhood favorite has a hang tag in one aisle advertising “Plastic Stuff.”

** But in terms of the industrial food chain it’s still probably corn; see Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma or the documentary “King Corn” for more detailed explanation.

*** Why didn’t I just use scissors? Because I am stubborn.


Lidian said...

Wow, that is truly bizarre! Kudos to you both for actually testing it...I thought that they would be different colors. But then I suppose it would be too easy to guess the flavor!

We used to have Pink Elephant pink, candied popcorn up here in Canada, but i haven't seen it in ages.

sally said...

The things you will do for your readers. That's devotion.

We don't have 99 Cent stores here. We don't really even have a dollar store. We have a Dollar Tree, which I suspect is what you call it when you're planning on selling items that are still cheaply made and ugly but will be charging more than a dollar for them.

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I actually felt ill contemplating one of your horrible food finds. Congratulations!

Jenny Islander

Celia Pleete said...

Oh yuck. This is almost as bad as the gummy hamburger, which just makes me think of apple-flavoured gristle.

Anonymous said...

LOL. How I would love to do a tour of the Queens .99 stores! Great stuff. I don't think I could have resisted that challenge either.

Anonymous said...

I guess they did not sell very well. My local Walgreens had a closeout sale on them for 38 cents. At that price, I bought a few boxes, but I could not distinguish the flavor of any single piece. Certainly none tasted remotely like popcorn.