My three darling nephews are, for now, both adventurous and reasonably trusting. They are boys who clap their hands for broccoli and who think of pears as a treat. My sister, their mother, makes her own bread, cans her own preserves, and refries her own beans. She feeds these kids great food, and they love it.
I brought the nephews a number of ‘treats’ from Germany and parts beyond this week, including a memory game for ages 6+ that has stumped us all. Let’s play:
Cultural Differences, Candy Edition
how to play: read through the following list of edibles I brought, and try to guess which ones the nephews were fans of. Answer (notice the singular) at bottom.
• Salt Pastiller – Pingvin brand from Norway. Apparently kids have been spitting these out since 1926. The juggling penguin on the front is a perfect foil to the super salty black licorice taste inside. Seriously, though, penguins? Do you think they taste good? Or that they know from candy? They’re a bird that eats fish, kid, get real.
• Salmiakpastillen N – these are tiny black “candies” that are marketed as ‘extra stark’. They are hard as rocks, and are shaped like arrows with surprisingly sharp points. Perfect for toddlers! Also salty, and also licorice-flavored, but these are extra stark. If these were the last candy in the world, one bag would still be a lifetime supply. I bought these at a pharmacy and I don’t know what the ‘N’ in the name is for, but the German assured me that they were candy. Extra stark candy, whatever that means.
• Strong cheeses, including a very old gouda with crunchy bits, a cheddar that was almost too sharp, chunks of parm/reggiano, and a well-aged robusto with a flavor that lasted a long time. A little too long, if the 5-year old’s request for “water, orange juice, anything, help meeeee!” is an indication.
• Various date- and fig-based snack bars with almonds, hazelnuts, coconuts, and dried fruits. These have a tasteless papery coating that helps the bar not stick to the packaging, and which helps differentiate these nutritious bars from, say, a Snickers or a Tiger’s Milk bar or anything else that the boys would want to eat more than one bite of.
• Sage-flavored cough drops, sugarfree.
Answer: the cough drops were a huge hit! I’m the best aunt ever!