A Dark Dance With Caramel

It all started out so innocently, if one can ever use the word ‘innocent’ regarding caramel.  My apple had been sitting in the fridge for days and most of the caramel coating had slowly oozed down to the pan, forming a substantial disc on the top of the dessert.  The first bite is always the hardest, as your teeth slip and slide around the smooth and sticky sphere, looking for a way in, but this time my entrance had been painless and the apple was half gone.  That was when it all went wrong.

Without thinking, I took a large vertical bite, my mouth stretching over more than half the apple’s height.  All previous chomps had been on the horizontal plane, but for some reason I broke protocol and almost paid the ultimate price.  This large up-and-down bite meant that the lower half of my jaw ripped through nothing but apple flesh, the juices pouring from the fruit and into my mouth.  It also meant that the top row of teeth were now firmly lodged in the thick disc of caramel and unable to move.

As the apple juice rushed forward toward the front of my mouth I instinctively tried to close my lips together, but was unable to do so, thanks to the sticky treat in which I was firmly planted.  Panicking, I tried to wrench my jaws free of the wretched temptation that had gotten hold of my head, but it was no use.  At the last second I tilted my head backward, temporarily halting the rushing flow of juice, but I could still feel it in my mouth sloshing back and forth, waiting for the perfect moment to flow free and onto my shirt.

The only option was to bite my way through the caramel, so I went to work, chewing and yanking and praying my teeth would meet their friends on the other side sooner rather than later.  Time was not my friend as I felt a small trickle of liquid escape the sides of my lips and dribble onto my chin.  Swallowing was not an option, as my entire mouth was filled with apple and candy.  I feared I might choke, unable to chew any of my delicious nemesis.  But with might and vigor I finally felt my arm pull away from my face, apple still on stick, bite still in mouth.  Success!  Or so I thought…

Desperate to get this frothy mix of tart juices and sweet candy out of my mouth, I closed my teeth hard in preparation for the final stages of this thing we call ‘eating.’  But what was this?  Though I had gotten the bite off of the apple, there was still a large supply of caramel stuck to my upper incisors.  I couldn’t get that air seal that I needed to suck the juice down around the chunks of apple with choking to death.  And the motion of pulling my face free had brought my head forward again, with all the juices coming quickly to the lips and ready for launch.  Caramel catastrophe!

With less than seconds to act, I started grinding that caramel as fast as I could, praying that my efforts would not be in vain.  And then, at the last moment, I felt the beautiful and familiar clink of teeth on teeth as enough of the sugar dissolved to allow things to function normally again.  I snapped my lips shut and swallowed the rogue liquid with a satisfying gulp.  Looking around the table, I saw my family enjoying their caramel apples, blissfully unaware of the crisis that had just unfolded before their very eyes.  Though it had seemed to me like an eternity of struggle, the whole incident had taken place in under ten seconds.  What bizarre flaw in the space-time continuum had caused me to be pulled free of its shackles and set adrift in an endless battle of dessert?  I cannot say.  But I will ease your minds and tell you that the rest of the treat was eaten without incident, and it will be many months before they are in season again.  So sleep soundly, knowing that my clothes are safe from any unintentional candy drooling.  For now…

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Posted in Apples, Candy.

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