Friday, March 1, 2013

How a candy bar can take you back to your childhood

Last week my girlfriend Sally came back from England and brought me back this magnificent treat. A Lion Bar. These treats are sold in Europe and some World Market stores here in the U.S.

As I tear the wrapper and take my first bite I'm taken back to the days when I lived in Saudi Arabia. The searing dry heat on our skin during the summer. Walking out of the ocean caked in salt. Having a greyhound bus pick you up from school, when in reality we could walk. Going to school year-round, three months on, with one month off. At the time it was an idyllic way of life. There was a gate around the compound and we never feared for our safety.
I discovered this wonderful treat while living in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia. My father was working for ARAMCO and we lived in an American compound. We had a commissary which sold our favorite American staples, but it was once we left the compound that we found such unknown treasures.
The Greyhound bus would pick us up and take us into Medinat, the local souk near the compound. American Jeans, Fanta and Pepsi soft drinks and bootleg cassettes were sold at various stalls; Candy, unknown foods and something we'd never seen before, cartons of milk that weren't refrigerated. How did that work, taste or keep from spoiling? It's still a mystery to me, but I do have to say that the milk didn't taste that bad. Once it was opened you placed it in the refrigerator.
So, what is a Lion Bar? It's almost like a crunch bar but instead of being flat, it's round and filled with a rice crispy crunch dipped in caramel and chocolate. My mouth waters as I write.....I'm off to finish that candy bar, although these treats MUST be rationed!