When you’re far from home, you elevate the foods you grew up with, and which remind you of that place, to semi-mythical status.
And when you perhaps come across them in a local supermarket’s ‘Irish’ section, it makes your week!
The Other Half knows of my love for Emerald caramels, as I always insist on buying a bag pretty much the minute I arrive on a visit home. They’re on my ‘must go and buy these instantly’ shopping list, along with Veda (a malty loaf), proper muffins (very different from English muffins), cream cookies, snowballs and a ton of other amazing carb and sugar-heavy delicacies.
He was pretty much in the good books for, oh, a day at least 😉 , when he produced a bag of Emeralds, plus some Club Rock Shandy, an orange lemonade which tastes of warm days when you were seven, and has a fizz which sends you into an emotional reverie about your idyllic Celtic childhood.
The magic ingredient of Emeralds, which makes them superior to your average caramel, is the little bit of coconut. They are made in Letterkenny in County Donegal, a town which is also home to a nightclub called The Golden Grill which formed a key part of my adolescence. Eating them, in addition to providing a familiar taste sensation, therefore also has welcome associations with many an awesome (underage) night out. Ah, those were the days…