IT'S A MYSTERY. I attempted to get my uncle to tell me what was in the little plastic bag, but he wouldn't budge, offering only, "I think you'll like it." That's decent logic, I'll admit, but then again I always think my mom will like pine nuts. Fortunately for the both of us, she frequently reminds me that she's violently allergic to them.
Myself, having no food allergies or broad distastes to speak of, and certainly not being one to turn down free snacks, I accepted the little plastic bag of dried goods on my way out the door of my aunt and uncle's house. When I later found myself alone and hungry on my Amtrak ride to New Haven, I rummaged through my bag and pulled out the mystery snack.
Mostly, I was bored. I definitely wasn't hungry. I had a huge brunch followed, on account of early afternoon train and plane departure times, by a huge lasagna lunch with my family in Connecticut just a few hours ago. This back-to-back meal "event" is explained by the simple fact that earlier in the weekend my aunts Eileen and Kathy had made two lasagnas, and as of Sunday afternoon no lasagna had been consumed. Have lasagna, will eat, I always say. Have two lasagnas, one will travel back to Brooklyn with me in my suitcase. True story. I really say that.
Since I couldn't eat a frozen lasagna on the train, I decided to pass the time with this bag of something. My first guess had been some type of crunchy, cinnamon baked business, but I should have known better. That would have been too predictable. The "Willimantic Co-op" sticker on the bag suggested something altogether odder. Still, I was expecting crunchy when I popped the first piece in my mouth. Imagine my surprise to find: chewy!
Dried apples, maybe apricots. Cinnamon. Those were both pretty clearly involved, and I'll admit I was pretty disappointed. Here I'd been hoping for bizarrity in a little plastic bag and ended up with boring old dried ap--woah! Spicy! Cayenne pepper! Well, I'll be damned! As the slow burn hit me, my mystery snack finally lived up to its hype and the flavor whisked me away to... no, I was still on Amtrak. Sigh. But if my uncle will own up to his purchase, perhaps I can tell you where to find this spicy, mystery deliciousness.