Friday, May 16, 2008

For the Love of Bon-Bons!

Tonight I had to have some, those pink, white, yellow, and chocolate, coconut-filled little delights in a plastic tub. They struck my fancy, especially as I haven't had any of them in ages. Just look at them! Aren't they fabulous? I used to get treats like this when we were traveling between Houston and south Georgia in my childhood. We would inevitably end up at some gas station (or Stuckey's) that had restrooms, gas pumps, and goodies. Bon-Bons were always favorites of mine. Coconut should be in a food group by itself. It has an interesting texture, flavor, and crunch. You don't often see coconut eaten in slices, cubes, or halves.

When I was little, I hated milk (and I'm still not fond of it now). I told my brother that I would only drink coconut milk. In that brotherly way, he told me that I didn't know what I was talking about, that coconut milk was like water. But Gilligan drank coconut milk, I protested. My brother scoffed and tuned me out. I was too dumb to waste his time on (he is 7 years older, mind you, so I was just a bratty little kid to his tween wisdom!). I turned my pleading on Mom and begged her to get me a coconut every time we went to the store. "They're too hard to open," she said. But she acquiesced to my coconut cravings with delicious, homemade macaroons or a coconut cake. My brother and I loved coconut in kind and always wanted a homemade coconut cake for our birthdays, which are (7 yrs and) 8 days apart; we were the middle two of five children. We had birthdays together and we were good enough to always get sick at the same time, too, usually with tonsillitis. It made it convenient for Mom to cart us both to the doctor at the same time, but that's for another blog!

I watched Gilligan's Island for hints of how to open the dread coconut. I didn't have any boulders, any contraptions developed by the professor, or a machete from a headhunter. I had to settle for coconut in cans, bags, or store-bought macaroons. Or? In the wonderful Bon-Bon.

Bon-bon isn't a term that is unique to this particular candy, of course. According to Wikipedia, it is also:
  • The name for British Christmas crackers.
  • The name of a software product (used for lab testing of applications under development). [1]
  • The name of a short story published in 1832 by Edgar Allan Poe, which describes the devil's delight in eating philosophers souls, they being the most tasty of all.
  • The name of a famous dog from Stafford, England (though I could find nothing about that)
  • A commonly used name for cats in México
I also found out that there is a molecule referred to as a Bon-Bon because of the letters B-O-N appearing in a ring in the structure. Interesting!

The Edgar Allan Poe story, funny enough, was written for a writing contest. Do you remember that I am also waiting to find out if (a) the Colorado house got enough entries to give away the house and (b) if the house is mine. Yeah, it's a long shot, but it's a 1-in-2000 (or however many entries they get) chance, and I believe in my writing. It's just up to the judges and what they happen to be looking for. Some essay will strike their fancy, and they'll award the house. I just thought it was a little ironic that my craving for Bon-Bons tonight led me to a little web search that landed me on a link that clued me in that one of our greatest American writers, too, was once a struggling writer entering contests and waiting for the word as to whether his work was good enough.

Life is strange, and my mind works in mysterious ways, particularly when I'm overloaded on sugar and a little shy on sleep.

And so it's off to bed now. Peace and good-night! D


Maggie May said...

Everywhere I go today, people are writing about sweets!
On one post I wrote that I loved aniseed balls & wondered if they were still available. Now I'm wanting chocolate. Well I've just got up and haven't eaten yet, so I guess that some cereal will do.
Was interested to hear the definitions of the word bon bon!

CrazyCath said...

That is a great post for me on many levels. Firstly, my hubby adores coconut and would agree with you about categorising it alone. My eldest son had a fascination with cocnuts and wanting to open them in early teens. And I have never heard of a Christmas cracker being called a bon-bon! Not in our area anyway - who writes these things! "Bon-bon" is the French for "sweet" (or "candy") as far as I am aware. Love the insight into E.A.Poe as a young struggling writer.

Anyway, just to keep you busy (hehe) I have TAGGED you! Pop over to mine to see what's in store... ;0)

Hilary said...

What a delicious post! You have me craving sweets and it's only 9 am here. Interesting ties you found, between your bon bons and Poe's.

leslie said...

Intriguing info about bon bons. I've always loved coconut, especially inside chocolate. lol

KathyLikesPink said...

Ahh, Stuckey's! That's a name I haven't heard in a VERY long time! We only had a couple of them when I was growing up in Oregon, and they were both on the two hour drive to Portland. Which we didn't do very often, but when we did, we stopped at Stuckey's!

Have you ever perused the "Candy Counter" at the Vermont Country Store? You don't have to go to the store to do it, you can browse at their website. They have candies (and other things) that you won't find anyplace else.

Jennifer H said...

So did you ever, in your adult life, buy and open a coconut?

I love coconut.

Momma said...

Maggie - Hope I didn't trigger your sweet tooth too badly!

Cath - I think I actually cut off part of the Christmas Cracker usage. British Christmas crackers are known as bonbons in Australia, at least according to Wikipedia!

Hilary - Thanks for stopping by! Every time I come back to this post, get a craving for Bon Bons all over again!

Leslie - And this is why I loved Mounds when I was a kid. Dark chocolate over coconut? Heaven.

Kathy - Actually the Vermont Country Store online was the only place where I could find a picture of these goodies :-) I may be in deep, deep trouble...

Jennifer -
::blink:: ::blink:: -_- Um, no, I haven't! Funny! I guess I still don't know how to open one, and now I have no excuse! I can look anything up on the 'net.

Peace - D