Pop Rocks On My Brain

A few Saturdays ago, Katie and I discovered a nice little surprise in the otherwise gentrified downtown Naperville area: Naper Nuts and Sweets. Set up like an old penny candy store, one wall is lined with a ridiculous amount of novelty candy. From Big League Chew to chocolate covered grasshoppers, the wall runs the gamut of crazy. On the opposite wall, behind the counter are dozens of glass bowls, full of sugar and chocolate utopia. I couldn’t keep track of everything they had, but when you see Jalapeno Jelly Bellies, you know you’re in good hands.

I, of course, was drawn to the novelty candy like Rascal to tinfoil. I scoured the shelves looking for things to buy, and write about. What would people like to read, I asked myself. I’m sure you would LOVE to hear about my experience with chocolate covered grasshoppers, but that will never happen. Aside from being a vegetarian, I find the idea of eating bugs, how do you say, icky.

But then I saw it. The magic words. Limited Edition. That the words were attached to a bag of chocolate covered Pop Rocks only made the deal that much sweeter. I bummed 2 bucks off Katie (because I was broke), and trotted out of there like a kid who just found the ultimate candy store.

Now, before you judge, realize that I too was a little concerned about what was in that bag. Was it Pop Rocks flavored like chocolate? I hate artificial chocolate flavor, as my Bubble Yum experience will attest. But, it was something better. Inside that magical little bag were Pop Rock covered in chocolate. You pop them into your mouth, and you get to pretend you’re eating a piece of milk chocolate. But once the chocolate milks, the Pop Rock awesomeness takes over. While not as pronounced as the typical mouth full of Pop Rocks, you still got to have that little tiny rock opus. As I said, awesomeness.

What wasn’t awesome? The Pop Rocks on a Roll that I bought a few days later. Talk about pointless, unsatisfying, and lame. First of all, you have to do it yourself. Unless it’s a candy stick being dipped into sugar, I don’t want to DIY my junk food. The package contains a fruit roll-up and a small bag of Pop Rocks, that due to humidity are actually one giant Pop Landmass. You have to unroll the fruit roll, and apply the Pop Rocks yourself, rolling it back up to get the full effect.

Here’s where the problem lies. The Pop Rock to fruit roll ratio is so small that you never get enough Pop Rocks in your mouth to have a teeth-shattering experience. You mostly get a fruit roll up that’s a little crunchy. And really, who’s enjoyed a fruit roll up past fifth grade?

What have we learned today? Chocolate Pop Rocks = Awesome. Pop Rocks on a Roll = Lame-O.

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