At the top of the Pyramid of Illegal Sweets was an apparently highly addictive mixture of sugar and chemistry's greatest bloopers, Now and Later candy. It was distributed by the local Village Pantry. Children lined up outside the store each morning to get their daily fix. Tons of it found its way into the school building, yet only a small portion of the trafficked substance was ever confiscated.
The watermelon flavor could be sniffed out from yards away and the tell-tale, green colored tongue from the apple-flavored squares provided damning evidence that a Now and Later had been eaten. A bust might take 3 or 4 squares off the streets, but seldom was a full unopened "stick" retired from circulation.
An unusual circumstance arose when a student claimed the Now and Laters (banana) in his lunch box were actually his dessert. I wanted to see for myself what these things tasted like, so I gave the kid a pass under the condition that I could have one of his squares. I can best describe the experience as unforgettable.
Initially, a Now and Later has the texture of hard chalk. You have to work it hard to get it into a semi chewy state before the taste is evident. I tasted no real banana, although the yellow color and a hint off banana smell, like that from a scratch and sniff book, provided enough to classify the flavor as banana. The beauty of the Now and Later from a kid's perspective is that you can chomp it up for quick consumption, or you can go the snuff route and park it your mouth for a long-lasting sugar drip.
The slogan on the wrapper said "Eat Some Now. Save Some for Later." I did not dare read the list of ingredients. But for the record:
INGREDIENTS: Corn Syrup, Sugar, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Citric Acid, Egg Whites, Salt, Potato Starch, Artificial Flavor, Emulsifiers (Soy Lecithin), Artificial Color (Red #40, Yellow #5, Blue #1, Blue #2
I haven't had one since.