Just before noon today, I got a text from Chris Russo, co-owner of Bento
in Burlington. It was just four words: "We've got Every Burger!"
I ran right to College Street, knowing my life was about to change. For the first time ever, I am now able to buy my favorite candy in Vermont. From Indian rose barfi to bone-shaped, cardamom-flavored Maltese ghadam tal-mejtin, I've eaten my way through the world's sweets with unbecoming gusto. But in the end, nothing can compete with a childhood favorite.
When I was a kid, my family drove to a Japanese supermarket called Meiji-ya for groceries a couple of times a month. I had lots of musts on my list: eat a melon-flavored shaved ice from the counter; bring home Botan Rice candy, wrapped in edible rice paper, to wow my friends. Panko, at the time not something you could just buy at the grocery store, also seemed to go quickly in my house.
But my favorite candy was always the Every Burger. Or maybe it's more of a cookie. The bite-sized burgers are made of mini patties of chocolate topped in yellow white chocolate, which stands in for cheese. The buns are skinny, shortbread-style cookies topped in chopped sesame seeds. Every Burgers used to be sold with two mini compartments in each package, but in the last year or two, they've been packed as a single serving. This makes portion control extremely difficult for me.
Luckily, it matters less now if I eat a container at a time. For the first time in my 16 years of living in Vermont, I can buy Every Burger without hours of travel. Even my Montréal sources have dried up in the last few years, so heading to College Street feels especially luxurious in contrast to going to New York, New Jersey or Connecticut to get my fix.
At my request, Russo also ordered a couple of other childhood favorites of mine. Hello Kitty marshmallows, less sweet and more foamy in texture than American ones, come filled with strawberry jam. My childhood standard was individually wrapped and filled with chocolate ganache, but I can't complain about these.
And today, washing down sushi with melon-flavored Ramune (soda sealed with a marble) brought me back to the childhood thrill of dipping into a melon shaved ice.
Alice's Latest Obsession is an occasional blog series that appears when senior food writer Alice Levitt is newly preoccupied with a dish, restaurant or product. As John Waters wrote in his film 'Pecker,' "Life is nothing if you're not obsessed."