‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danc’d in their heads.”
– “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” by Clement Clarke Moore
Who here actually knows what a sugar plum is? If you’re one of the few who answered “yes”, you’re actually a dirty rotten liar because you definitely do not. I’m about to blow ya’ mind harder than Eve ft. Gwen Stefani, people.
A sugar plum is an obsolete term that has nothing to do with plums. Then what the heck are they, and what makes ’em so special that kids dream about them? When you stumble across these Sugar Plum Delight Peeps at your local Target, the package includes a picture of little plum ornaments. Well, that is actually up for debate, too. Fellow food-blogger Maria from Sometimes Foodie (whose blog you should definitely be reading if you aren’t already) quipped that the picture of the plum ornaments looked like little butts, or “something worse.”
She has more tact than I, so I will just go ahead and say it. They look like testicles. And I’m really praying that these Peeps are NOT flavored like testicles. But back to sugar plums. Both candy historians and elder versions of the Oxford English Dictionary identify sugar plums as a comfit, a confectionery consisting of some item at its center (a fruit, seed, nut, spice, etc.), surrounded by a hardened sugar coating through a once labor-intensive process known as “panning.” Think M&M’s or Jordan Almonds.
Because comfits were both expensive to make and to purchase at the time, they were considered a luxury item (hence why children might dream of them). But why use the term “plum?” Plums were never used at the center of these comfits, but a little etymology reveals some possible theories. The term “sugar plum” (first documented in 1608) meant “something pleasing or agreeable.” Candy fits the bill. The term “sugar plum” in reference to candy didn’t appear documented until roughly 1668, so this makes sense. Even before this, the word “plumb” was used as a verb to mean “to immerse,” which could lend itself to the process of immersing a treat in ungodly amounts of sugar. So what does this all mean? Nothing, of course. Now let’s eat some f’n marshmallows.
Off the bat, Sugar Plum Delight Peeps smell pretty appetizing… a fruity scent that lends itself to a berry more so than a plum. It reminds me of a blueberry but with added sweetness. The taste is consistent with this scent; kind of tart but mostly sweet. The flavor is more subtle than the aroma, and lands somewhere in the blueberry/blackberry/acai realm.
Thank God these don’t taste like butt or testicles. Taking a bite with the white fudge base, the flavor is enhanced! The white fudge doesn’t overpower the flavor. Instead, it provides a counter-balance to allow that tarty fruitiness to shine. I dig ’em! Berries & cream is a combination that generally works, and that’s what I’m getting here. It didn’t really feel like a Christmas flavor, and I’m not going to lose any sleep with visions of Sugar Plum Delight Peeps dancing thought my fat head. But I would recommend you give these a shot for something different.
Doesn’t Taste Like Butt Rating: 10 out of 10
Doesn’t Taste Like Testicles Rating: 10 out of 10, I imagine.
Overall Rating: 7 out of 10
- National Geographic, “What Are Sugar Plums Anyway?“
- Huffington Post, “Sugar Plums: What Are They, Anyway?”
- My Stupid Brain, “Do I Even Have One, Anyway?”