Oh, the Haribo Gummi Bear, how I love thee! I could wax rhapsodic about these little nuggets of sweet gelatinous gold. And I will! Many a friend, family member, work colleague, and random commuter know that these are my #1 candy, having slowly but methodically pushed Kit-Kat to the honorable 2nd place (one above Snickers). It was inevitable really, as this relationship was borne of a childhood friendship in Germany. As a flannel-trousered youth, I was fortunate to indulge in not just the deliciousness of pure chocolates but also the varietass of the Haribo world. And let’s be clear – there is no other gummi bear. I once had such a heated conversation with a co-worker over Haribo versus Black Forest we drove around Houston, Texas for an hour in search of a bag to duke it out with evidence in hand. After an ill-advised comment by a cashier, exclaiming that it wasn’t a big deal, I went into an apoplectic rage, denouncing them both as infidels.
Am I addicted? Perhaps. Sure. I buy 5lb bags at Wal Mart (don’t judge me) and then set about breaking it down into bags of various sizes like a seasoned drug kingpin (fact: you can buy dime bags in bulk, but be prepared for alot of shameful stares). Stashed in my computer bag, office, car, kitchen cabinets, etc., rare is the occasion that don’t either have some in my immediate possession or within a short distance.
Recently, I’ve been asked two questions that made me realize I’ve attained a plane of gummi bear consciousness that the common man has a difficult time comprehending:
Q: Do you like a certain color? You know they taste differently, right?
A: No. I do not distinguish gummi bears by their color or creed, size, stature, or station in life. If you are a Haribo Gummi Bear, that’s good enough for me. Any other brand? You’re a cretin that doesn’t deserve the sole of my boot.
Q: Do you eat them one at a time, or guzzle them like an alcoholic at a boxed wine freeforall?
A: Next question.
It was a sad day when Hans Riegel died last year at the age of 90. Father of the Gummi Bear, he was well aware of the confectionery magic he blessed the world with. While I’m not a big fan of all the children his company has proliferated (save Gummi Cokes), I’m grateful he kept the Gummi Bear the same today as it was in my childhood.
So should we happen to meet, dear reader, I welcome the chance to either rejoice in a familial adoration of Gummi Bears or introduce you to the best candy the world has to offer.