Wednesday, May 25, 2016


There's a sushi place we get food from occasionally. While I'm not a big fan of sushi, I do like the fact that in lieu of after-dinner mints, they give you these:

I had no idea what these were, what the label said (besides "Classic Series"), or what they were supposed to taste like. I didn't recognize the little fruit on the wrapper.

A bit of searching taught me that the fruit is guava, and this fine Chinese candy can be purchased through Amazon. "Classic Series," rather than being puffery, seems to be the actual name of the candy, and the company appears to be Hong Yuan. Asian Supermarket 365, which also sells the candy, describes it thus: "Even if guava is not your favorite fruit, you may also this candy. It tastes delicious and natural, not too sweet."

Well put! I believe it's true that you might like this even if you don't like guava. I can't say for sure, because I don't think I've ever had guava. It's fun to say: Guava Guava Guava. A baby could say it. I guess guava (guava! guava!) is a hole in my culinary education.

But the reason I support their assertion is that grape candy, as we all know, is almost a completely different flavor from actual grapes. The same goes for other candies. It's no original observation on my part to note that we have contrasting and simultaneous ideas for flavors like blueberry, blackberry, watermelon, and others based on what candy and actual fruit taste like. You would never confuse watermelon's flavor with that of a watermelon Jolly Rancher, for example.

It could be a conundrum for Plato or the Scholastics: Is there a watermelon essence that is above and beyond the actual watermelon? A World of Forms watermelonness that Jolly Rancher captures to some extent, even without physical watermelon? If you replace a watermelon slice by slice with artificial watermelon, at what point does it cease to be watermelon? And that doesn't even to address the kumquat issue. Where do they fall in all this?

It's too much for me. I'll just say that I do like the guava "Classic Series." It is indeed tart but light, refreshing in the way an after-dinner candy should be. Unlike After Eight mints, you can even eat one at seven thirty. I'd like to try Hong Yuan's lychee candy, which I'd bet I'd like too -- since I have no idea what lychee tastes like.

P.S.: Guava Guava Guava! Heh.
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