On this most Woody Allen of Brooklyn streets (at least where Brooklyn used to be), tucked between two cafes of competing chalkboard-wit, rests Faustin’s Corner Store (est. August 1994.) With Halloween quickly approaching, my compatriot Britknee and I passed the graphic-tee wearing loiterers outside and entered the bodega’s Wes Anderesque interior to secure a mixed bag of candy. Amiable service suddenly tartened when I facetiously asked the Rwandan owner if he also doubled as the sommelier, and had to explain to him not only the definition of the word, but the position’s importance.
The clear polyethylene bag containing the candy was designed with confounding graphics, redundantly listing the contents which were clearly visible. Internally a veritable smorgasbord of candy vied for palatable consumption. Payday kicked things off, providing an inversion on traditional bar candy form. Almond Joy, while a rather severe name, showcased a restrained study the textural difference between chocolate and nut. Following up was the Twix candy bar, an underwhelming and out of place staple more suited to public school lunches of a hamburger and pommes frittes. The carmel motif was successfully elaborated upon by a Snickers bar, which riffed the Twix’s underlying flavors into more successful proportions. The penultimate Dark Chocolate Milky Way was understated and seemed to have been included as an afterthought. Finally, the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup closed the chocolate section of the bag, illustrating the perfect balance between peanut butter and cup.
The most successful of all the experimental candy was hands down the caramel apple pop. The sour tang of the apple was perfectly enhanced by the savory twang of the exterior carmelization. A tight-rope balancing act, the sucker illustrated a meditative deconstruction on an American classic: the apple pie. A tootsie roll pop followed trying to make sense of the putrid artificial grape flavor, to no avail. Perhaps intentionally nonsensical, the gorging closed with a traditional bag of Skittles. The disharmonious flavors contradicted each other and the rest of the candy all at once, elevating mere treats into a self-reflexive piece of critical discourse.
But in the end candy tastes good, and isn’t that really what it’s all about?