Life is full of epiphanies and turning points. Some small, innocuous, and seemingly insignificant moment can be a catalyst for the opening of whole new avenues of opportunity for some lucky—or unlucky—soul. Eating a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory chocolate covered orange slice was not one of these moments.
Dipped Oranges in all their glory
A true food-inspired epiphany in my life came courtesy of the restaurant Applebees. A few years ago, we went there for dinner one night and I ordered the Oriental Chicken Wrap. I was completely floored when I bit into the utter perfection that was the Oriental Chicken Wrap. It was cold, yet hot. Crunchy, yet soft. Vegetabley, yet full of chicken. Most of all, it was sweet. That dinner could be sugary-sweet completely turned my world upside down.
A single bite confounded me and forced me to ponder the veracity of everything I had learned up to that point. Its sweetness forced me, in my primitive meat and potato upbringing, to initially label this dinner a dessert. This conclusion could not possibly be correct since Applebees listed Oriental Chicken Wraps as an entrée. I wanted to flag down our waitress to debate my findings, but then realized that if I was indeed correct that would prove the Applebees menu to be fallible; the implications of which could lead the opening of the gates of hell and the devil's hostile takeover of our world. This dish, however, also contained chicken, cabbage, and crunchy noodles so it could not possibly be a dessert. It must be a dinner. My acceptance of the simple truth that dinner could be sweet and still be dinner opened my inexperienced palate to a whole new culinary world.
As I said Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory's chocolate covered orange slices did not lead to any earth shattering realizations on my part. I was admittedly shocked when I opened the package and realized that the candied orange slices still had the skins intact. I was put off by the fact that whoever made these candies was too lazy to peel the oranges and left that menial task that to the customer after spending $28 a pound.
In these times of financial difficulty, why not invest in dipped oranges instead of gold bars?
I then further inspected the chocolate and realized that it completely encased over half of the orange slice. This meant that if I wanted to peel the orange, I would have to completely dismantle the whole candy. I momentarily pouted over the effort required to eat this chocolate and then realized that this could not possibly be the case. The original intention of this candy's creator was for the customer to eat the whole thing—orange skin and all. I found myself even more put off by this man's perversions. Who eats orange skins? It's nasty, it's bitter, it has pesticides and bird shit all over it. Does this man realize how many hours of my life have been devoted to carefully tearing away this vile barrier to the juicy tang of the orange meat hidden inside?
Dipped Oranges moments before their doom
I had two versions of chocolate covered orange slices in my bag—milk chocolate and dark chocolate. With the trepidation of somebody about to go nipple-deep into a cold pool, I took a big bite. To my surprise, the taste didn't suck. In fact, it was really good. The skin was probably the best part. The flavor of the skin wasn't entirely different from the rest of the orange—probably from being immersed in copious amounts of sugar—and it had more of a chew to it. I devoured even more of the slice, left a bite's worth for Mrs. Zenestex, and moved on to the dark chocolate version. Once again, the taste was a delectable surprise. While not as good as the milk chocolate, which is rare, the dark chocolate certainly held its own.
They look juicy right? Don't be fooled, it's the candy coating
The orange slices were noticeably missing their juiciness however. One of my simple pleasures is biting into a peeled orange as if I am a savage biting into a piece of freshly killed game. In my imagination, the orange juices running down my face are the blood of my unfortunate victim. The white strings are like the veins and the crunching is the tendons ripping apart from the massive chewing force of my molars. I got none of that sensation from this candy. The orange slice was entirely lifeless, but it still managed to contain all the flavor, which saved me from hating it. With the novelty of eating oranges skins, chocolate covered orange slice earns its place in the upper echelons of the candied fruit pantheon. It's not quite chocolate covered cherries, but it is way better than candied apples. Yeah, I said it. They suck.