Sunkist Fruit Gems: Fun to Eat, More Fun to ThrowFriday, September 4th, 2009 by Jon
Denture Danger: 6
When I see these little individually wrapped gelatin candy blobs I think of only one thing, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. During my childhood I went to a lot of Bar and Bat Mitzvahs (a Jewish ceremony for 12 and 13 year olds to represent a coming of age).
The part I most looked forward to would be towards the end of the ceremony when the little cousin or little sister (which was me at my brothers’ Bar Mitzvah’s) would walk through the isles with a basket of Sunkist fruit gems passing them around to the audience. (I would always make sure I took at least two so that I could eat one).
The unmistakable plastic crinkle would fill the sanctuary as the Bar Mitzvah boy/ Bat mitzvah girl’s premonition grew. After the singing of the last prayer ended and the “Mazel Tov” resonated throughout, the madness began. At the sound of that “Mazel Tov” everyone who had a Sunkist in their hand (those who resisted the temptation of eating it) threw it as hard as they could at the helpless kid standing on the Bima (stage).
Many candies would be thrown askew and hit an unsuspecting parent or rabbi. Some hit the intended target while most just flew untouched through the air and landed on the Bima with a plop. Sometimes I saw the kid becoming a bar/bat mitzvah catch the candies and throw them back at their friends and family.
This tradition created a new element of fun to the usually boring bar/bat mitzvah service. After everyone had thrown their candies the kids would run up and collect as many Sunkist gems as they could fit into their little hands. They would then hoard them and trade with their friends for their favorite flavors.
These candies were perfect for throwing because they are soft, they are individually wrapped, and the temptation for eating them does not come close to overriding the fun of throwing them. The Candy itself isn’t anything special. It has an odd sweet flavor (whether it be lime, orange, grapefruit, or lemon) and a strange gelatiny texture that is accompanied by a sandpapery outer sugar coating.
They are more fun to squeeze in your fingers until the gooey blob is pressed into a liquidy goop that fills the small package than they are to eat, (this commonly happens while people impatiently await the throwing of the candy).
For your next Bar/Bat Mitzvah don’t forget to stock up on Sunkist Fruit Gems. In the mean time, they are a good candy for sharing because everyone likes being given candy whether or not it is yummy, and no one has to know that you are giving them a candy that you don’t actually like.