As Easter Sunday creeps closer, Gut Check dreams of baskets piled high with pastel-colored candies, chocolate shaped like baby animals and, oh sweet Jesus, Cadbury eggs. We remember well the ritual of sorting the bounty bestowed by the big, weird Easter Bunny: Would it be good stuff...or crap?
Want to avoid the inevitable disappointment of unsatisfying, subpar Easter candy? Check out our take on the 5 Best and Worst Easter Treats, which we'll trot out each day as the holiday approaches...
Worst Easter Candy Countdown, No. 2: Edible Easter Grass One Easter morning many years ago, not long after dawn, Gut Check encountered a neighborhood kid, a colorful basket in each hand, standing in the middle of the street, barking like a dog -- a clear lesson of the dangers of too much sugar. We shudder to imagine the consequences had the lad been able to eat the grass in his baskets in addition to the jelly beans, Peeps and chocolate bunnies.
When edible Easter grass hit the American market, Gut Check was intrigued. We've seldom met a sugary goody we didn't like. Alas, edible Easter grass doesn't even contain sugar. It's sweetened with aspartame, perhaps so that the grass doesn't become sticky in humid conditions. The other main ingredients are potato and corn starches.
The resulting texture is like munching away at a foam carry-out container, and the bland, faintly sweet taste is equally disappointing. The vaguely green apple flavor quickly faded, and as we chewed and chewed and chewed, suddenly the realization hit us: Edible Easter grass tastes like a wad of communion hosts. While the paschal relevance of communion hosts to Easter morning is appropriate, Gut Check was brought up never to chew the host. Incidentally, edible Easter "confetti" has also recently saturated store shelves, usually placed next to or nearby edible Easter grass. In Gut Check's experience, the confetti was as much of a taste letdown as the grass, and both present a less-than-responsible message to children: Hey kids, confetti is edible! From now on, you should view confetti as a treat, not a choking hazard.
All in all, Gut Check will be sticking with traditional shredded plastic Easter grass, which has several important functions. First, it lessens the burden on parents' wallets. Fill that basket with enough shredded plastic and little darlings might not notice that you shortchanged them in the candy department. Second, no kid will get high on plastic Easter grass. And finally, plastic Easter grass offers a delight found nowhere else -- that moment next Easter when you find a year-old jelly bean nestled in the grass while dragging it out of the basement next year.