Ice is nice

It should be pretty well known by now that I’m a big fan of Mike & Ike candies. There are a few little things that regular folk don’t know about them though. The average person knows the original flavours in the green box, and the Berry Blast variety in the blue box can almost always be found next to the originals. The Tropical Typhoon flavour (red box 1) is the best of the basic triad by leaps and bounds, but is significantly harder to find. These all come in the long, rectangular box in which the candies are loose. There is one flavour that comes in a slightly more squareish box, Tangy Twister. These are the worst. Not only do they taste bad, but there is a plastic pouch inside the box that holds the candies, resulting in considerably less candies than you’d find in the long box. There are some other flavours, like Red Rageous (the best), Jolly Joes, and Lemonade Blends. However, these flavours are either incredibly rare or not sold in Canada., because I’ve only ever seen Red Rageous when I drive down past the border.

Last week, we were down at the Forks Market, and while perusing one particular candy shop (I can’t be bothered to remember what it was called) I found these babies. While I was thrilled to find a flavour of Mike & Ikes that I’d never seen before, I was immediately suspicious of the squareish box. I bought it anyway because I like Mike & Ike.

Arriving back at home, I broke into the box with haste and discovered that it did indeed contain the plastic baggie of candies. Less candy than a standard box? That’s one strike against Italian Ice. Then I looked at the back to see what the flavours were… and they were all the same as the original Mike & Ikes, albeit swapping lime for watermelon. What was going on here?

I popped a few in my mouth, and at first it seemed like just the regular old flavours going on, and then it hit me. The Italian Ice candies produce a very strange taste sensation that I really have no idea how to describe. It’s sort of reminiscent of eating a freezie that tastes like Mike & Ikes, just without the cold. It’s totally weird, but wonderful in a way. I probably won’t buy them again because I’m never at the Forks and they cost like a dollar more there (plus you get less in this dumb box), but I liked them. If Walmart started selling them, I’d probably pick up a box every once in a while.

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