Now and Then: Savouring the flavour

Funny what you notice, eh? Just the other day I watched a youngster eat a candy bar. He took a bite, chewed, swallowed and repeated this action until the candy bar was done. It was his manner of eating the bar twigged an ancient memory of how us ’40s and ’50s Flin Flon kids had specific routines for consuming candy bars and other treats.

Treats were hard to come by. It was an effort to weasel a nickel or dime out of Dad or to find a couple of empty pop bottles to cash in for three cents apiece at Club News or Johnny’s. Buying and consuming a treat was considered to be a mindful and time-consuming process as you savoured each and every bite.

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In that light of recollection, I offer a 1940s and ‘50s guide on how to eat a treat to extend the pleasure of the experience – rather than just shoving the thing into one’s face and gorfing it down.

To eat an Oh Henry or Sweet Marie bar, munch the chocolate and nuts/crisps off the soft candy core as you would with corn on the cob. Then take tiny bites of the candy core. The eating of an Eatmore Bar requires biting off a small piece and then let the soft stuff dissolve in your mouth. Swallow and then slowly munch the remaining chopped peanuts. Same for a Burnt Almond chocolate bar.

There is a tendency to gorf down Glossette chocolate covered raisins or peanuts. No! Suck the chocolate off the peanuts or raisins two or three at a time. Then chew them. Don’t gorf! The Coffee Crisp technique is to carefully bite the bar horizontally to separate the chocolate/biscuit layers from the coffee centre. Eat the chocolate and biscuit layers first then slowly savour the melt-in-your-mouth flavour of the centre.

Remember the Neilson’s Caramilk quiz about how they got the caramel into the chocolate cubes? Who cares? This is how you get it out. Carefully break off one portion. Puncture the top with your incisor tooth and suck out the caramel. Yum! Then dissolve – not chew – the milk chocolate piece by delicious piece.

Paulin’s Chocolate Puffs were a kid’s greatest challenge. Crack the chocolate topping dome, peel off small portions and eat them one at a time. Then nibble around the edge of the chocolate-covered base, eating as little of the biscuit as possible. Same with the bottom. Then eat the biscuit. Then suck out the bit of jam centre. Then eat the marshmallow. Time-consuming, but delightful.

Butterscotch ripple ice cream was a mining-town kid’s delight. We’d cut a pint brick of ice cream in half and use a small spoon to mine out the butterscotch ripples – as if they were seams of gold – then eat the remaining ice cream. Chocolate-covered maraschino cherries for us were upper-class treats: gnaw off the bottom layer of chocolate, suck out the cherry and juice then eat the top “cup” of chocolate.

Ice cream cone eating was more than just licking the ice cream. While doing so, gently tongue-force the ice cream deeper into the cone. The warmth of your hand will cause the ice cream in the cone to soften. Then, you bite off the bottom tip of the cone and suck out the melted ice cream. A real art!

And yes, you can eat a package of Freshie/Kool Aid. Tear open the package just enough to allow entry for your index finger. Wet your finger, stick it into the package and suck the powder off your finger.

And now the grand finale! How to Coca Cola belch. The warmer the Coke, the better. Guzzle down half a bottle, take a deep breath and let the belch go. The longer the belch the better – especially if you can speak words while belching à la our pal, Ian “Bones” McDougall.

Like life and living, when eating a treat, it’s best to take your time and savour the flavour.

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