Root Beer & Tootsie Pops

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

ROOT BEER SODA. If you’re not from North America, you may not know what that is. And, if you don’t know what it is, it’s not easy to explain. We’ve tried. So, while we were in Las Vegas (which, believe it or not, is in North America), I thought I’d find the old-fashioned hard candy called “Root Beer Barrels.” Not the actual soda but, I thought, at least our friends could sample the flavor. Unfortunately, I never found my way to a gourmet candy shop, but I did manage to find a sugar-free store-brand at CVS Pharmacy on the Las Vegas Strip. (Pharmacy shops in the United States are usually more like supermarket/variety shops that include a pharmacy.) I haven’t yet shared these CVS root beer barrels with our friends because I wanted to try one first and make sure the imitation tasted like the original. I tested one last night. It’s perfect.

Since I can’t share samples with everyone, I’ll try and describe root beer. It’s a soft drink (soda) made using the bark of the sassafras tree. It’s usually non-alcoholic (how San Geraldo and I know it) and it has a thick, foamy head when it’s poured. It was made centuries ago by the indigenous populations of North America. Oh, and it’s excellent in a “root beer float,” root beer and vanilla ice cream. Sadly, I can’t do that with the candies.

I ALSO RETURNED with some Tootsie Roll Pops to share, one of my favorite candies from my childhood. A ball-shaped lollipop filled with a “Tootsie Roll,” a chewy taffy like candy, the first penny (one-cent) candy individually wrapped in America (in 1907). I haven’t had one myself. I’d have to keep my Invisalign braces out of my mouth too long if I wanted to truly enjoy it, although it really is impossible to patiently suck away at a Tootsie Pop. One lick, three licks, bite and chew!

Oh, yes, the braces are back — not the retainers. Another 9 months maybe. I told the orthodontist she really needed to do a better job of telling me what’s going on. Anyway, my life is filled with sweetness and I’m still smiling.

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ROOT BEER SODA. Si no eres de América del Norte, es posible que no sepas qué es eso. Y, si no sabes qué es, no es fácil de explicar. Lo hemos intentado. Entonces, mientras estábamos en Las Vegas (que, créanlo o no, está en América del Norte), pensé que encontraría los caramelos duros a la antigua llamada “Root Beer Barrels” (barriles de cerveza de raíz). No la soda real pero, pensé, al menos nuestros amigos podían probar el sabor. Desafortunadamente, nunca encontré mi camino a una tienda de golosinas gourmet, pero logré encontrar una marca de tienda sin azúcar en CVS Pharmacy en el Strip de Las Vegas. (Las tiendas de farmacia en los Estados Unidos suelen ser más como tiendas de supermercado/variedad que incluyen una farmacia). Todavía no he compartido estos root beer barrels de CVS con nuestros amigos porque quería probar uno primero y asegurarme de que la imitación fuera como la original. Probé una anoche. Es perfecto.

Como no puedo compartir muestras con todos, intentaré describir “root beer”. Es un refresco (soda) hecho con la corteza del árbol de sassafras. Por lo general, es sin alcohol (como lo saben San Geraldo y yo) y tiene una cabeza espesa y espumosa cuando se vierte. Fue hecho hace siglos por la población indígena de América del Norte. Oh, y es excelente en un “root beer float” (flotador de root beer), root beer y helado de vainilla. Lamentablemente, no puedo hacer eso con los dulces.

TAMBIÉN REGRESÉ CON algunos “Tootsie Roll Pops” para compartir, uno de mis dulces favoritos de mi infancia. Una piruleta en forma de bola llena de un “Tootsie Roll” (un caramelo masticable, el primer caramelo de un centavo envuelto individualmente en los Estados Unidos (desde 1907). No he tenido uno. Debo mantener mis brackets de Invisalign fuera de mi boca demasiado tiempo si quisiera disfrutarlo realmente, aunque realmente es imposible chupar pacientemente un un Tootsie Pop. ¡Una lamida, tres lamida, mordida y masticar!

Oh sí, los brackets han vuelto, no son retenedores. ¿Otros 9 meses tal vez. Le dije al ortodoncista que realmente necesitaba hacer un mejor trabajo para decirme lo que está pasando. De todos modos, mi vida está llena de dulzura y sigo sonriendo.

Thanks to CandyWarehouse for this image of the inside workings of a Tootsie Roll Pop.
Gracias a CandyWarehouse por esta imagen del funcionamiento interno de un Tootsie Roll Pop.

The Magi Chopper

Yesterday afternoon, I looked up the schedule for Fuengirola’s Cabalgata de Reyes (Three Kings Parade) and I was surprised to learn that the “Kings” would arrive at 4:00 p.m. at our largest municipal sports complex, Complejo Polideportivo Municipal Elola, by helicopter!

(The images get bigger if you truly believe… and click them.)

ARRIVAL PHOTO FROM THE WEB.
WE DIDN’T GO OUT UNTIL THE PARADE REACHED OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD.

I’ve read that the Magi didn’t actually arrive in Bethlehem until two years after the birth of Jesus. Camels are a lot slower than helicopters.

MARIPOSAS (BUTTERFLIES) QUICKLY FLUTTER BY.

Following tradition, the participants on all the floats threw “caramelos” to the spectators. Our first year in Spain, I heard the word “caramelo” and I was delighted. But, my first painful knock on the head was another lesson.

“Caramelo” is used generically for candy. Soft caramels (a sweet I love) were not being gently lobbed. Hard candies (boiled sweets) were being tossed or sometimes brutally thrown at us. People wear hats and carry umbrellas to catch the “caramelos” and to protect their heads.

THE FIRST FLOAT.
PEPPA THE PIG.
JIMINY CHRISTMAS, THIS IS FUN!
MOST KIDS HERE CALL THEM MARIO BROZE,
NOT REALISING ‘BROS.’ IS SHORT FOR BROTHERS.
AND AFTER SUPER MARIO BROZE… SUPER MAN!
THE FLOAT BEARING GASPAR.
GASPAR. (NOT ONE PASSABLE SHOT OF A KING.)
“ALL THE KIDS IN THE MARKETPLACE SAY:
AY OH WHEY OH, AY OH WHEY OH; WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN.”

This year, I really was delighted when the first “caramelos” to hit me were gummy candies. Although there were still some hard candies being jettisoned by some gleeful little ‘imps,’ and even the gummy candies could hurt if thrown hard enough. I wrapped my scarf around my head to protect myself, which caused one concerned little girl to ask why my head was bandaged.

As San Geraldo Scrooge said this beautiful Three Kings Day morning. “I’m glad this is the last day of this damned holiday!”

MY PLUNDER. I GAVE AWAY MOST OF WHAT I CAUGHT.
DISPLAYED IN MY 1965 NEW YORK WORLD’S FAIR TIN TRAY…
WHICH, YES, I ACTUALLY BOUGHT MYSELF WHEN I WAS THERE 50 YEARS AGO!