One of my favorite ways to get to know someone new is to ask them what they’d request for their death row meal (I’m sinister like that). More astonishing than the range of answers I’ve received – anything from mom’s peanut butter and jelly to shark steaks – is that everyone seems to have their answer thoroughly prepared as if they’ve been waiting their whole lives to be asked this question. Mine: snow crab, Velveeta Shells & Cheese, and a Cadbury Cream Egg.
I’ve loved Cadbury Cream Eggs since the dawn of time. One of my fondest memories is traveling to the Cadbury factory in England and later learning that in London, there are Cadbury vending machines that deliver eggs all year long. So imagine my surprise when I was in Walgreens last night looking at Christmas candy and saw a beautiful foil-wrapped egg nestled amongst the Reese’s trees and Hershey snowmen. Clearly, my correspondence to Santa has finally been answered. While I would have expected a Cadbury Cream ornament or Cadbury Cream ice skate or something, beggars can’t be choosers. I shelled out my sixty-nine cents and took my treasure home.
But I haven’t eaten it yet. Something doesn’t feel right. Just as I cringe whenever I see a Peep shaped like a reindeer or red and green candy corn, I worry that eating a Cadbury Cream Egg at Christmas will kill the magic.
There’s a reason we don’t eat purple stuff shaped like a can on any other day than Thanksgiving, there’s a reason why beer is only green once a year, and there’s a reason why egg-shaped candy is relegated to Easter (although it dawns on me that I have no idea what it is).
Aside from being brilliant marketing ploys, Boo Berry cereal, chocolate Santas, and Cadbury Cream Eggs are much like roast turkey and green bean casserole – it’s the seasonality of the experiences that make them special. Whether it’s candy cane marshmallows showing up on Lucky Charms boxes, Starbucks bringing back the salted caramel hot chocolate, or just a store clerk moving the cookie baking supplies onto a more visible end cap, edible preludes to your favorite holiday are a big part of the joy.
So will I be eating that Cadbury Cream Egg? Hell yes I will. It’s 12/21/12 – I’m having Velveeta Shells & Cheese too.
What’s your favorite seasonal treat (or death row meal)?