An Apple a Day Keeps the Bubblegum Away?

The produce section is my candy store.

When I was little, my parents owned an ice cream and candy shop. I got to taste-test every new sweet before it hit the shelves. Had that happened nowadays, Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz would be fighting over who got to humiliate us first.

While I still adore a good sugar snack, I get more excited when I see a fruit or vegetable that hasn’t met my eyes or teased my tongue. I just like to buy it, cut it open, taste it, and figure out what to do with it. Horned melon is next on my list.

On a weekly pass through Publix, I came across Crazy Apples.

Having North Carolina Apple Country within spitting distance usually causes me to ignore the supermarket apples, which are usually as good for you as the wax variety.

These Crazy Apples, though, had me. They were in their own bags and promised to have the flavor of pomegranate grape, a tropical blast, or bubblegum.

The company is proud of these tiny orbs. They’re small in size, but kinda high in price. At $1.25 apiece, I’d expect to find Cubic Zirconia seeds inside.

I decided to try the pomegranate grape apple. It looked like any old apple, inside and out, and you know what? It tasted like one, too.

As much as bubblegum flavored anything beckons the remnants of my last meal, I had to try it. We went back to the store, went home, cut up the alleged bubble gum globe, and tasted it. Nothing.

In my opinion, this is a gimmick. Maybe moms think promising a flavor will convince their kids to choke down an apple. All I know is that I never needed to be forced to eat one. I can remember my mom peeling apples and slicing them for my brother when he was a toddler. He begged for more.

In all fairness, these Crazy Apples were deliciously sweet and juicy. If anything, maybe they were sweeter than a regular one.

According to the company’s website, they don’t add extra sugar, calories or preservatives, and the bubblegum flavor comes from, “…a careful mix of dozens or natural flavor notes.”

I ate them, so did my partner in cuisine crime, and his 2 kids. None of us tasted anything but an apple.

These fell far from the flavor tree.

I say leave the apples to farmers, and leave the flavor fun to drug stores trying to mask the puckering punch of cough syrup.

Tip: If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the produce section, try the frozen food area. Frozen veggies are just as good, if not better, for you. They’re picked and frozen at their prime, which is when their nutrients are most potent. I always have a bag of peas in the freezer. They’re sweet, and add a pop of texture and color to pastas and salads, or pasta salads. I also keep a bag of onions and peppers (red & green) in the freezer. It’s cheaper than buying the 3 ingredients separately. Plus, it’s a versatile shortcut for anything Italian, a stir-fry or curry dishes,


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