Kiss Me, You Fool

05.28.07: Hershey's finds the perfect grown-up novelty candy market: me.


In the last trimester of my pregnancy, I threw in the towel. I'd been trying to keep my weight under control, watching what I ate, choosing nourishing foods, maintaining sensible portions, etc. But as I grew bigger, and bigger, and bigger--to near Goodyear blimp proportions--I thought to myself, "Oh, screw it." The kid was clearly gonna make it--he was huge, and thriving in every way. I had been transformed into a fat, bloated gestating pee machine. Why shouldn't I eat what I want?

And mostly what I wanted was chocolate. Of course, the cruel irony of the third trimester is that, though you're hungry, you can't eat very much of anything. There's simply no room, and you will be punished with mighty heartburn at the mere suggestion of overindulgence. And so I naturally gravitated toward bite-sized indulgences, like Hershey's Kisses.

My third trimester lined up perfectly with the Christmas holidays--and the advent of a delicious "limited edition" Hershey's Kisses flavor: Cherry Cordial Creme. These Kisses were, in a word, divine, and I ate them at carefully paced intervals all day and all night. I drove all over town trying to find them, and had all of my friends and family on the prowl, too. When we found a stash, we bought them all up. I began to hoard these candies, fearing that I couldn't live without them, that I'd never see them again.

They were just elusive enough to make the game interesting--we'd see them at Walgreens, then they'd disappear. A few days later, three bags at Target: Score. Then nothing for a week or two. Then someone from across town would phone in a possible grocery-store sighting. And off we'd go; the hunt was on!

Now I see them everywhere, all the time, along with umpteen other special Kisses flavors, some of which are great, others not. I'm adore the Cherry Creme, the Coconut Creme, and the Special Dark with Almond. The Chocolate Truffle is pretty good if you need an intensive chocolate fix, fast. The Caramel and Peanut Butter are just okay (nothing that will put Rolo or Reese's Cups out of business anytime soon). But don't get me started on the Dulce de Leche, or Strawberry Creme, or any other flavor enrobed in white chocolate, which isn't chocolate at all but just fat and sugar and in my opinion should be labeled as such! They're awful.

But the point is, I must try every single one of these flavors. I was hooked in with the Cherry Creme, and now I respond like a Pavlovian dog to each exciting new bag: I salivate, run to the cash register, fork over the dough, and within seconds I'm out in the car stuffing one of these treasures into my mouth. These are novelty candies for the adults who grew up on Everlasting Gobstoppers and still want to combine sugar and entertainment. Count me in.

I'm pleased to say, though, I no longer eat them by the bag. Generally one or two will do. They're an occasional treat, just as they should be. When I'm tempted to overdo, I try to remember that though they may look cute and tiny, they're not so cute once they join forces to take up residence on your thighs.

Hillari Dowdle will fit back into her favorite pants one of these days. Check this column every week, and you will no doubt be among the first to read all about it!