When I was a child, I was a sugar fiend. That is technically false advertising, actually, since I am *still* a sugar fiend; in fact, my friends call me the Sugar Princess, and I am the only person I know to have snorted Pixy Stix. It was, I hasten to point out, an accident. I also once threw up almost a pound of undigested Chews, the citric-acid-y gum that is my absolute favorite thing about Canada; I felt MUCH better after that particular night was over.
But I used to buy all the Canadian penny candy from the convenience stores -- back when it actually cost a penny. Penny candy, loose sour gummies and hot lips and Swedish berries (why are they SWEDISH berries? In the Bulk Barn, they call them "Nordic berries"), is ubiquitous in Canadian convenience stores.
But one of my favorite things to buy was Thrills, a purple elongated rectangle that purported to be gum. They came in yellow cardboard boxes like Chiclets, and I bought them because you got the ENTIRE CONTAINER for 25 cents. Even then, I was kind of Jewy. By which I mean, "cheap".
The interesting thing about Thrills is that, while they were cheap and sugary, they didn't taste particularly good. They tasted, as a matter of fact, like soap. But I ate them anyway -- and I do mean ATE, swallowed enough for my future gastroenterologists to shake their heads in alarm -- because they were cheap and sugary.
I'm glad to know that not only am I not the only person to have noticed this particular taste sensation, but the company (Concord Confections of Concord, Ontario) has actually latched on to a new marketing scheme:
Notice the tag line. The French, literally translated, reads: "Always the same soap gum!"
Nobody in the States has ever heard of Thrills. Too bad for y'all.