No, I’m not an addictive personality. But, there are some things that I MUST HAVE. It changes from time to time, but right now it is a little candy called chupetazo.
I live in Barranco, a district of Lima, Peru. Translated from Spanish, chupe means sucker or lollipop. A chupetazo means a big or extraordinary lollipop. Well, that is a gross exaggeration.
Just like many things today, the name has been blown all out of proportion to the actual product. I think the word is hyperbole. For example, another candy here in Barranco (a district of Lima) is called canonazo (gigantic canon) when it is only a modest chocolate covered cookie. There should be some sort of government regulation to tone down these grandiose names.
Anyway, chupetazos are Peruvian in origin so I am happy to support the local industry. The going price right now is 50 centavos per piece. That is about U.S. 13 cents
Despite the name, I like these little suckers and crave one of them for my afternoon relax time after lunch (note: not a siesta). Fortunately, they are readily available. Right down the street is Victoria with her snack wagon. She is located half a block away, on the corner next to the girls’ school.
While Victoria has a steady supply of these little delights, I have found the need to expand my search. You see, Victoria lacks imagination and a spirit of adventure. She believes that fresa (strawberry) is the only flavor of chupetazo, and that, I now know, is my least favorite flavor.
I lust for green apple, passion fruit (maracuya), and other exotic tastes. That means that only when I am in desperate need do I go to Victoria. Strawberry is my last resort.
Therefore, I’m still expanding my horizons with this product, and am excited to explore the world of chupetazos. For me, though, it has to be sour: the more, the better. That really is my main objection to strawberry—it is far too sweet.
In the center of this candy is another reward: bubble gum. Once the candy has been dissolved, you are left with a different taste. It could be sweet or sour. Anyway, you can chew away for a long time with another delightful flavor.
I’ve now acquired some sort of a reputation among the local street vendors. As I walk around the neighborhood, some waive at me and shout:
“Señor, hoy tengo el verde.”
“Today, I have green apple!”
They know that I will usually stop and search my pockets for a coin. You see, I believe that it is always good to have an extra chupetazo, just in case the urge strikes.
The neighborhood where I live also has many little hole in the wall grocery stores— sort of modest seven-elevens. I’m always scanning these stores for a chupe I haven’t tried yet. In fact, I just discovered a treasure trove with an impressive supply of passion fruit chupes. I’ll be visiting there frequently.
I’m just glad I don’t have an addictive personality.