Monday, August 25, 2008

MINT-FRESH MEMORIES

Not for us the ubiquitous circular Polo mints (the mint with the hole).

When we were children, whenever we would get a little spare money (say, 10 paise) we would run down the lane to the nearby hole-in-the-wall shop where the thick glass jars held tiny coloured peppermint lozenges, which we simply called peppermint. They came in lovely pastel shades - lemony yellow, candy pink, mint green and moon white - and an array of shapes - crescent, star and the four shapes from card-games: hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades. The old, be-spectacled shop-keeper would scoop up these treasures with a rounded spoon and, deftly wrapping and twisting the lot inside a piece of newspaper, would hand over our money's worth to us. And then the careful opening of the wrapped coolness and the first burst of ice-like sweetness on the tongue, the mint melting in the mouth in moments (not like POLO, which simply refuses to melt and has to be crunched into submission), and sliding-cooling down the throat. The pleasure was enhanced by having a glass of water immediately afterwards.

I also remember that there was another kind of mint - a regular-rectangular shaped one available in a pack of ten or so. I have forgotten its name (maybe it was called Parle mints) but its antiseptic, packaged coolness was not a patch on the wildburst, waterfall freshness of the multi-coloured, many-shaped variety sold loose in that dingy shop. That would be our commission whenever we would go on shopping-chores for my mother - that 10 paise worth of myriad-minty-refreshment.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE CANDY AS A CHILD?

11 comments:

HOBO said...

Lolly-Pop
The orange color ice-cream was my favourite which we used to purchase in the afternoon/evening hours when the man in his ice-cart visit streets.

ugich konitari said...

Its amazing how choices change over generations. Candy, per se, minted or otherwise, was strictly a non-no in my childhood (late 50's). Shopping then was not the event it now is. Whenever we went out, with our parents, chana and peanuts, bought from a vendor who sold heaps of it under a heated earthen pot was the choice. There used to be a 25p cadbury chocolate (the size of todays 5 star) available then , and getting that , very rarely, on some really special occasion was a supreme deal.......

Lazyani said...

Parle Mints:)

Sheer ecstacy and my favourite was the rose flavour.

I also long for the good old NP chewing gum. Reminds me of my school cricket days. They were better than any of the modern concoctions, trust me.

Peter Rozovsky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Rozovsky said...

Ah, I remember after the last day of school we would run to the store with our money and celebrate with a candy and gum shopping spree, though probably the buying was even more fun than the eating or the chewing.
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PBandJ said...

My very favorite candy was Abba Zabba, especially when my mom put it out in the sun for a few minutes to melt the taffy! So stringy and chewy, and the peanut butter in the middle made my mouth water. Isn't candy lovely?

Aleta said...

We rarely had candy in the house, but after church on Sundays, my brother and I would take our bikes and go this long distance, following a canal, trudging through the high grass and end up at a hole in the wall store. Bubble gum was the big item for us then, but oh, to smell the delights. It was worth the bike ride.

lopamudra said...

I loved 'churan'.Does it fall in the category of candy?

eve's lungs said...

Parle chhilo - in regular and rose flavour ! And NP chewing gum in violent green and yellow wrappers.Morton's lozenges - I was partail towards the yellow ones.Oh and coconut toffees - thin coconutty discs wrapped in clear cellophane wrappers - I ate so any once I was sick!
I also loved Kwality's vanilla ice cream in the waxed blue and white cup - it added to the flavour.

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Thanks, everybody, for the minty memories.

sumana001 said...

"Sweet" post! Did you have those white "stick-jaws" as a child? Yummy!