There is something viscerally pleasing when your fingers have to dig in to the corners of a candy box to lift the flaps to reveal a hidden taste from the void. Unfortunately, the boxed candy of my childhood has been replaced with the convenience of — and the impossibility of tearing open — a plastic bag.
Yes, Cracker Jack no longer lives in thumb-punctured, pressed, paper. The smell of the glue holding the flaps together is gone.
The waxy, paper cover, is a thing of my past.
Instead of getting paper cuts from the sharp edges of the box, I now struggle mightily against heat-sealed seams of a foil lined package. Find me a pair of scissors, will you?
Cracker Jack isn’t the only childhood meme that has been repackaged for convenience and portability.
Good & Plenty is also now in a bag and not a box.
I miss the maraca in my childhood hand as the licorice-coated candies would tumble to and fro in their paper container.
While I miss the texture of the paper and the visceral satisfaction of tearing into instead of ripping apart, I do confess Cracker Jack is livelier and tastier in the plastic foil shell and the Good & Plenty — always a jawbreaker in disguise — are now actually quite tasty as something soft and chewy cuddled in a delightful candy coating.
My heart mourns the lost, innocent, days of the stale candy in the paper box — while the man in me now appreciates the forward push of technology that makes products last longer and have a better taste — even if Cracker Jack and Good & Plenty lost their childhood heart along the way.