Cotton Candy, Sweetie Go, Let Me See the Tootsee Roll
On Tootsie Roll and Fruit Chews Mini Bites and Potty Mouth's “Do It Again”
Tootsie Roll and Fruit Chews Mini Bites
Any snack enthusiast worth their weight in Chili Cheese Fritos knows truck stops are incomparable goldmines for the latest American candy.
Yes, treasures can be found at corner stores, mini-marts, and bodegas, but when it comes to grab-and-go goodies, those big truck stop chains in Middle America operate on a whole other level. They exist to please. They want you to love them, to choose their gas station over all the other gas stations along the interstate exit, so they’re constantly updating their inventory to cater to every imaginable craving.
In my experience, the further you get from larger cities, the better the truck stop’s selection. I learned as much on a weeks-long road trip from Nashville to Seattle and back in late 2019. All those middle-of-nowhere travel stops were filled with things I had never seen at my big-city gas stations and grocery stores!
I found individually wrapped Little Debbie Double Decker Fudge Rounds at a Kum & Go in Missouri. I bought a pack of Hostess Strawberry Zingers with chocolate cake in Post Falls, Idaho. I even spotted the newly released Skittles Dips — the yogurt-covered version that turned out to be not that great, actually — at a Love’s Travel Stop somewhere in central Colorado.
It was along Interstate 82 in Eastern Washington where I found my favorite snack of the 5,000-mile drive, Tootsie Roll and Fruit Chew Mini Bites. These bright sugar gems are smaller, wrapperless, candy-coated versions of chocolate Tootsie Rolls and their fruit-flavored brethren.
It’s as though they were designed just for me. Fruity, chocolatey, chewy, and crunchy — it’s everything I could want in a candy packed into one little nugget and I cannot get enough.
The coating is thin and crispy — it easily gives way to the tender, chewy inside that is pleasantly softer than the average wax-paper wrapped Tootsie Roll.
Imagine a kinder, gentler version of Big Chewy Nerds. I love Big Chewy Nerds! But eating them can feel a bit like playing some twisted version of dental roulette. The hard, bumpy shell is especially thick and with each piece, I wonder Will this be the bite that shatters a molar?
Tootsie Minis would never hurt you.
For a real treat, eat a cherry and chocolate Mini Bite together. Sublime.
It was on that same road trip I also learned Tootsie Mini Bites are the ideal driving snack — there’s minimal packaging, no messy crumbs, no greasy residue that gets all over your fingers and steering wheel, and there are enough in a bag to share without feeling like you’re sacrificing too much of the only thing you were looking forward to on that day of endless highway. (Have you driven through Kansas? Kansas is so, so boring. Candy is the only way to make it through.)
“Do It Again” by Potty Mouth
Potty Mouth reminds me of these candy jewels.
Like Tootsie Minis, the pop-punk trio can be a little hard on the outside but that shell eventually gives away to a sweet, more tender interior.
Take, for example, “Do It Again,” the opening track on the band’s 2019 full-length SNAFU. Singer/guitarist Abby Weems doesn’t really give a shit about your feelings as they come clean about giving in to the temptation of bad habits.
“I've done a couple things that I know you wouldn’t like,” they sing with a taunting tone. “I keep it to myself so I don't keep you up at night / Nothing illegal just a little thing on the side / I keep it to myself so I don't keep you up at night.”
The thick, buzzing bass and distorted guitar — made peppier with harmonies but still a storm a noise — leads into a revelrous chorus where Weems delights in the possibility of making the same mistake twice. “I really wanna / Yeah, I really wanna / Don’t know if I’m gonna / Do it, do it again!”
Just a couple of tracks later, on “Starry Eyes” — a song as romantic as a pop-punk-kissed rock song can be — Weems lets down their guard. They’re in love. They’re loved. They’re resistant at first — aren’t we all? — but by the end of the song, Weems has accepted their fate and completed their transformation into just another starry-eyed romantic who would love nothing more than to waste each day lazing around with their crush. Aww, love.
(It’s also worth noting that Weems has a pet Axolotl!? I did not know how to organically fit this into the column but I cannot not tell you! Its name is Shippo!)
We contain multitudes. We’re hard, we’re soft. Potty Mouth captures those qualities and crams them into crunchy, addictive pop songs; Tootsie Roll makes similar magic happen with sugar.
Coincidentally, both are the perfect companion for long drives across the country, when it’s just you, the road, and the person you love so much you’re willing to share your snacks with them. 💖
The winner of October’s Snack Pack is…
Being a part of the Snack and Destroy community doesn’t just mean you get to read about delicious snacks — you get to eat them, too! Every month I’m going to pick one paid subscriber at random and send them their very own Snack and Destroy Snack Pack, an assortment of the goodies I am writing about and/or loving that month.
October’s winner is… Kim B.!
Congrats, Kim! You’ve won a bag of both the Tootsie Roll Mini Bites and Fruit Chew Mini Bites, along with some other fun treats! Check your email — I’ve sent you info on how to claim your prize.
Every Snack and Destroy paid subscriber is automatically entered in each month’s drawing and it’s just $6/month or $60/year to subscribe. If you want to be entered for November’s drawing, join by October 31!
Paid subscribers also get bonus Snack and Destroy content — Interviews! Recipes! And more! — and commenting privileges on all posts. Delicious!