I love mellowcremes. If you’re not sure what I’m referring to, think of the solid sugar, honey flavored pumpkins you see at Halloween. However, I’m a bit of a mellowcreme snob, preferring the favorites of my youth: Brach’s holiday bells, mellowcreme pets and harvest mix. Growing up, these seasonal goodies were always my favorites.
Over the last few years, these childhood favorites have become more and more difficult to find. So much so, that during the Spring of 2009 I found myself obsessed with getting my hands on a bag of mellowcreme pets (the Easter variety with strawberry, orange, vanilla and chocolate bunnies, chicks, baskets and other shapes). I searched grocery stores and pharmacies everywhere. I enlisted the help of friends and family in other states (and conducted my own multi-state searches during trips to Alabama and New Jersey). I contacted local stores that specialized in “old-fashioned” candy and searched the web for online suppliers. No luck.
This is when I crossed the line from being a fan of mellowcremes to becoming a mellowcreme expert. I researched the fate of my beloved sweets and learned that the Brach’s brand was purchased by Farley’s & Sather’s Candy Company and found mention of the elusive pets on their web page. I immediately contacted them for direction on how to obtain my orange and chocolate sugar bunnies. Their response was swift and saddening- they had discontinued the production of my childhood love (even though they to this day still tease me with a picture of the product on their site ). I responded with an additional query-bracing myself for the expected outcome and learned that the holiday bells, my favorite of them all, had met the same fate as my delectable bunnies.
They tried to console me, ensuring me that the harvest mix would still remain available, although in a slightly adapted form. I accepted their apologies for my heartbreak and began to process the loss. At first I was in a bit of denial continuing to look for other potential sources of a suitable replacement (I even considered making my own). Then came the anger. Next, I considered bargaining with Farley’s and Sather’s- negotiating a major purchase if they would return my love to me, but soon settled into the depression that stemmed from the idea that I would never taste them again. Finally, I accepted that it was time to move on and tried to put the bunnies, chicks, baskets and bells out of my mind.
Time began to heal my wounds and I learned to live in a world without my favorite mellowcremes-until this last Halloween.
One of my close girlfriends had been by my side during my time of loss and was always in search of a replacement to fill the hole Farley’s and Sather’s product consolidation had left in my heart. She would periodically bring me mellowcremes she found at random locations-valentine hearts from Whole Foods, Christmas shapes from a local gift shop. The thought was sweet, but the candy disappointing. Then came October.
Knowing that I had always found mellowcreme pumpkins an acceptable second to my flavored favorites, she picked up a bag of pumpkins at a local ice cream and candy store (Graeter’s for all of my Cincinnati friends) and presented them to me as a “just because” gift. I graciously accepted and placed them in my desk drawer to access the next time I needed to satisfy my sweet tooth. A few days passed before I sampled these new confections, but when I did it was magic! They were a perfect orange flavor, the texture was ideal, they melted in my mouth. My love had returned!!!!
I immediately shared my excitement with my friend (and everyone within earshot) and took a break from the office to walk over to the source of this culinary delight. And what to my wondering eyes should appear? Pumpkins AND Christmas mellowcremes!! It was heaven on earth. I quickly stocked up and headed back to the office to sample my new finds and was ecstatic to learn that the Christmas variety was just as pleasing as the citrus! Happiness ensued!
Thus began a new obsession ensuring I could get my hand on these regularly. This led to the discovery that my new loves were the product of Jelly Belly and that they could only be ordered by distributors, like Graeters or in bulk. Fearing their presence was fleeting, I ordered my own bulk order of Christmas mellowcremes immediately: a five-pound bag.
With my massive supply now safely in my desk drawer, I’ve come to a new conclusion: familiarity breeds contempt. Now that I have mellowcremes readily available (and with my bulk order, they’ll be available for quite a while), they’ve lost their intrigue. They are no longer a special treat.
Moral of the story? First, you never know what kind of nonsense you’ll find on this blog. Secondly, and more importantly, sometimes things are special just because they are rare, or occasional. Making them part of your everyday life takes away some of the intrigue and enjoyment. Be thankful for those occasional joys, not greedy in search of more.