Except for my anxious New Zealand readers, probably most of you have forgotten that I still have one piece of candy left from the candy challenge:
Given that the whole point of the candy challenge was to get me to try Pineapple Lumps again, it’s a bit embarrassing that I haven’t been able to face them in all this time. I stuck them in the freezer as soon as they got here, because Bellie said that they are better that way. And every time I opened the freezer, there they were, challenging me with their lumpy stare. I stuck them under a pile of red bean paste dumplings so that I wouldn’t have to look at them anymore, but eventually the dumplings were done, and there they were again.
“Hey, what’s this,” someone would say, rummaging through the freezer. “Pineapple Lumps? What are these?”
“Uh, long story,” I say. “How about some tea! Mmm…tea.”
Before I discuss our sophisticated tasting panel, let me cast your minds back to last June, when my nemesis and I last met:
“It was like a pineapple…I don’t know…marshmallow? You know those candies in the Whitman’s sampler you throw out because it’s like biting into a sponge? Imagine that, only yellow and pineapple flavoured.”
So tonight, when I opened the freezer for a coconut sorbet bar, I saw them and I realized that it was time to bite the bullet, so to speak. I had been questing about the house for food, and I pulled the deceptive bright yellow wrapper out and said:
“Well, I still have these!”
“Kiwi candy,” the Scarab said.
“Yup. I hope I don’t regret this.”
Puff and the Scarab sat on the couch waiting breathlessly while I slowly opened the package and eased a pineapple lump out.
I took a big bite off the end, and chewed thoughtfully while they stared.
“Hrm. Moof. Ergh?”
It was…better than my experience last year. The freezing had dramatically changed the texture. It tasted slightly gummy. Vaguely spongy. More like lemons than pineapples. My tormented facial expression seemed to evince concern from the onlookers.
“Sooo…..” Puff said.
“Why don’t you guys try some,” I said brightly.
I handed it to the Scarab first, and he gave me a look of dread before tentatively biting off a piece. After a few chews, he started to say something.
“Shhh! We’re all going to taste it and then review. Like professionals!”
I offered the bar to Puff, who regarded it with deep suspicion before reluctantly biting off a bit.
“UGH!” she said.
“This reminds me of lemon bubblegum, covered in chocolate,” the Scarab said.
“Yes,” I said. “Hrm. Well then.”
And I pulled the hokey pokey out of the cupboard, as a treat, to be warmly received by all.
…but the funny thing is, I was left with the other pineapple lump, since no one had been brave enough to bite into it. And when I thought no one was looking…I sort of took a bite.
And I can see how the flavour could grow on you. Really, I could.