Circus Peanuts Beware
The Vermont Country Store in Weston is over-priced and full of kitsch, but these minor faults are overshadowed by the vast array of free samples: dips and chips and salsa; local cheeses and pepperoni; fudge and cookies . . . if you're trashy enough, you could skip paying for lunch next door at the Bryant House (the associated restaurant) and just graze your way through the enormous store, which is actually several connected old buildings; the candy section fills one of these structures, and it is a joy to behold, several hundred square feet of every kind of chocolate, sweet, and confection possible -- arranged in a maze of jars and bins and cases . . . and from this horn of sugary plenty -- to avoid gluttony -- we decided to each choose a small scoop of ONE item -- Ian filled his bag with candy blackberries and raspberries; Alex chose candy Lego bricks, Catherine got dark chocolate covered cranberries, and I had a hankering for black licorice -- but there was a LOT of black licorice to choose from: ropes and strands, dog shaped licorice, swirls, rounds, twizzlers, etc. -- I finally decided on some smallish rhombus shaped pieces with the word "ZOUT" stamped on each piece . . . I assumed this was the brand of the candy, but when we got into the car and sampled our treats, I nearly had to spit mine out -- it was incredibly salty . . . and I soon learned, after doing a bit of research, that zout means "salty" in Danish, and I had purchased the infamous Dutch double-salted licorice, which might not be a candy at all, and instead some sort of folkloric remedy for sore throats . . . some folks on the Internet mentioned eating it as a "rite of passage," and all this is fine and good -- you might know that I am a fan of the circus peanut, and not because of the taste of course (circus peanuts taste horrible, like disintegrating Styrofoam) but simply because they exist at all and people continue to buy them and someone must be eating them . . . but I do believe there should be some sort of warning on this Danish double salted stuff, because now I have a bag of them, and the only way to unload them is to foist them off on unsuspecting people who don't speak Dutch.