Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Peanut M&M's: Aged like fine wine

Product_peanutmms_4It's that time of year when candy is flowing like the mighty Mississippi.  (Of course, with my two girls, I honestly have to revise that to Amazon.)  I don't know about y'all, but for me, there's only one candy: Peanut M&M's.  There's just something magical about the way the candy shell, milk chocolate, and peanut come together in the mouth that's, well, just perfect.

I thought I'd hit a snag last week.

My wife picked up a bag from Costco.  You know, the 56-ounce, weekly maintenance-size.  Anyway, I tore into the thing before it'd even hit the kitchen counter.  From the very first crunch, I knew something was off.  And after a call to the candy's customer service hot line, it turned out there was definitely something wrong, but not what you think (or at least not what I thought).  For the record, the woman manning the phone the day I called gets an A+ in my book—she was terrific.

I answered a series of questions pertaining to the purchase and explained that I thought the M&M's were old and stale.  The customer service representative keyed in all the data, including a few numbers from the bar code and a manufacturing code.  What happened next blew me away.  "Well here's the problem, Mr. Jones," she said.  (I was waiting for her to confirm that Costco had passed along an outdated bag).  "Your M&M's are too new -- they're only 3 weeks old," she finished.  Ladies and gentlemen, I was floored.  Then she explained.

Turns out, Peanut M&M's (and I would assume the plain ones too) need to cure for about 2 months once they leave candy land.  My problem wasn't that my wife bought an old bag of M&M's—Costco, I reckon, in an effort to meet the holiday demand, put them out too soon.

My new best friend assured me that if I simply sealed up the bag and chucked it in the pantry for 5 weeks, the colorful little gems would be perfect.  So in our make-shift wine cellar they sit, right alongside a few of my favorite bottles of Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc.  Meantime, she promised to send a coupon for another 56-ouncer.  Yum.

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