by Sara Mead
Not without apprehension, however. After all, in recent years Mars has gone from the simplicity of my youth–when there were only two kinds of M&Ms, plain and peanut, and light brown was still an M&M color (darn, I miss those light brown M&Ms)–adding new M&M flavors I really think are genius (Dark Chocolate is yummy, and Peanut Butter is divine), and then moved into territory that seems truly bizzarre–Strawberry and Peanut Butter M&Ms? Wild Cherry M&Ms? Razzberry M&Ms? Spelled that way? And coconut M&Ms seemed like an easy thing to mix up. After all, you can’t really squeeze much coconut into something the size of an M&M, so the company had to be relying on chemical flavoring to get the coconut flavor, and as anyone who’s ever had a Pina Colada made with the mix most chain restaurants and beachgoers use knows, that stuff can be nasty.
But the Coconut M&Ms are good! They’re bigger than a regular plain M&M, about the size of a Peanut Butter M&M, so I had thought they might contain a layer of white coconut cream where the Peanut Butter M&Ms have peanut butter, but they don’t, and they don’t contain any pieces of shredded coconut either–they’re chocolate all the way through. But the coconut taste comes through, and it’s amazingly not “chemically” at all–it tastes like a little, teensy bite size chocolate covered coconut ball. They’re also really cute, with little beachy images printed on them along with the Ms.
Now, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit my love of these candies on this blog, given the conversations that have been going on about food politics, the evils of a food industry that’s constantly toying with ever more baroque chemical experiments to get us further addicted to foods that will eventually kill us or at least make us fat, and the glories of fresh, local food. Coconut M&Ms seem like a great illustration of everything that’s wrong with food in America today. But there’s no way around it. I like Coconut M&Ms.
Unfortunately, coconut M&Ms are only going to be around for a limited time, and they don’t seem to be sold in Washington, D.C. at all. I’ve seen them the last two weekends on trips to Pittsburgh and Buffalo (awesome, I know), but I can’t find any in D.C. If you’re D.C.-based and have seen them somewhere in the area, please let me know where in comments below.