Thursday, February 28, 2008

In Lancaster,They Take Candy Seriously

One thing I love about Lancaster is its embrace of sugar. Sure, you can find national brands. But walk into Darenkamps supermarket and you find a huge display of locally-made seasonal candy. In late February, that means Easter.

Those are jelly beans (four assortments), robin's eggs (two sizes) and seven colors of crystallized sugar.

But wait! There's more!

Nonpareils, marshmallow-chewy bunnies, mints, candied almonds: a full 20 feet display at least, all before the groceries.

If you keep going, the deli comes next, with all kinds of pickles, deviled eggs, and, my favorite, broccoli-raisin-cheddar cheese salad. Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Cambridge anymore.

Near my mom's home is a candy store that ONLY opens from December through April. This year, at last, we got in. It is filled, floor to roof, wall to wall, with chocolate. Bunnies of course. Bunnies on motorcycles. Bunnies pulling carts. Bunnies holding eggs and coming out of eggs and carrying eggs. Large bunnies. Small bunnies. Huge bunnies.

Then there's every shape besides. Trucks, planes, cell phones, computers, tractors, tools. Frogs, bugs, ballerinas. Footballs, golf balls, full-size soccer balls. Kangaroos, lizards, pigs, cows. Cats, dogs, birds. Flamingos, parrots, pugs and schnauzers. O yes, of course it all comes in white, milk and dark chocolate, plus colors besides.

I had an insatiable sweet tooth as a child. If this place had been in town, I would have thought it heaven. As it was, I was tapping my toes. My daughter, of course, was humiliated that I took pictures, but honestly, chocolate frogs, piggy banks and moving vans? How can one resist?

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