One of the highlights of my recent trip to the mall was the opportunity to consume one of my childhood favorites: candy apples. AKA candied apples or (outside of the US apparently) toffee apples. It’s a tart green granny smith apple, dipped in red sugar candy coating, and impaled with a stick inserted in the core as a handle.
I have memories of eating them growing up, especially in the fall season, at Halloween or those traveling amusement parks that would come to town. I also remember there being a scare – in true American fear-thy-neighbor fashion – that some unspeakably evil neighbors had hidden razor blades inside seemingly innocuous candy apples and handed them out to unsuspecting trick-or-treating children. I think it was nothing more than an urban legend, but the fear of poisoned candy was forever branded on my impressionable child’s heart. Having mom cut your candy apple open for inspection was just not the same as crunching that delightful bite directly from the stick.
The apples for sale at the mall were actually caramel apples, not candy apples. It’s a similar idea, but the apple-on-a-stick is rolled in caramel instead of red sugar coating. But these weren’t your normal caramel apples either. These were caramel-apples-on-steroids that had collided with the candy bar rack at the drug store and ricocheted back into your face with diabetic force.
The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Company – a chain I had never heard of before this visit – has evidently taken caramel apples to the next level. Only in America: in addition to the “basic” candy apple and caramel apple (which no one seems to actually order), it serves up caramel apples coated with M&Ms, caramel apples covered with Snicker’s candy bars, English toffee caramel apples, nut-coated caramel apples, rocky road caramel apples, and a so-called “cheesecake apple.”
AND, my personal favorite, my over-the-top-caramel-apple-of-choice, was the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Apple. Yes, you read that correctly. An apple, covered in sticky caramel, then covered in crumbled up Reese’s peanut butter cups, then covered again in chocolate. Yes, it was as awesome as it sounds.
When I ordered it, the clerk asked me if I wanted it sliced up into pieces. I don’t know how you would possibly manage to eat it without getting it cut, because otherwise you’d have to bite through a one inch thick layer of candy and caramel to even get to the apple’s skin.
That apple made me immeasurably happy. But, it was somewhat offset by the sadness I felt at the fact that: (a) I was the only customer standing in line that was not visibly obese; (b) The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Company had a loyalty card with promotions like “buy four apples, get the fifth free”; and (c) most of the other customers had the loyalty card, were clearly regulars, and were buying multiple apples.