The release of the final Harry Potter movie has me thinking about all the memorable treats to be found in the world of Hogwarts — butterbeer, pumpkin pasties, Bertie Bott's Every Flavor beans, just to start. But children's books are full of sweets, both real and imaginary, that stick in our memories for years after we read about them. Here are a few of my favorites:
• Horehound candy sticks from On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder: One day Pa comes home with a treat in his pocket for Laura and Mary: a tiny striped bag with two flat sticks of golden-brown horehound candy. Mary licked hers. But Laura bit her stick, and the outside of it came off, crumbly. The inside was hard and clear and dark brown. And it had a rich, brown, tangy taste.
• Turkish Delight from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis: When Edmund enters Narnia through the wardrobe and encounters the White Witch, she feeds him magical Turkish Delight. Each piece was sweet and light to the very center and Edmund had never tasted anything more delicious. He was quite warm now, and very comfortable.
• 3-course dinner chewing gum from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl: Bubble-gum-obsessed Violet Beauregarde chews a piece of prototypical gum that gives the sensation of eating a three-course meal, which she loves — until she swells up like a giant blueberry. "It's changing!" shouted Violet, chewing and grinning both at the same time."The second course is coming up! It's roast beef! It's tender and juicy! Oh boy, what a flavor!"
Though horehound candy and Turkish Delight are real-life creations, I have to admit I've never tried them. Part of me wants to keep the imaginary experience of these sweets undisturbed in my memory, because I have a feeling the reality will never come close.
What are your favorite children's book sweets?