Monday, 2 May 2011

Proust and Lobster Tail candies

During the Easter weekend, my parents gave a slide show of their trip to the Motherland: Southern Ukraine. I saw pictures of where my great-grandparents' home once stood, the photo of the family flour mill which is now a residence for school girls, many photos of farms, villages, food, and this candy. Dad and his siblings were excited to find a shop in Odessa selling these crayfish lobster tail candies that were a special treat from their childhood. They were unfamiliar to me, but out of curiosity, I looked for them in a local Ukrainian food shop here in Canada. The moment I popped one into my mouth, I was brought back to the Mennonite children's Christmas programs of my childhood. After the program, the children were handed brown paper bags stuffed with fruit, nuts, and hard candies. The crayfish lobster tail candy (called Rock-of-ah-shee-key) evoked an involuntary memory similar to Marcel Proust's unexpected experience with a madeleine dipped in tea that he recounted in Remembrance of Things Past. In an instant I was brought back in time to wearing a tinsel halo and an angel costume, to the smell of wax candles burning brightly, and singing Away in a Manger. 

2 comments:

Rita said...

I've been remembering these candies from my childhood and would love to find them again to enjoy. They were one of my favorites. Do you have any ideas on how I could find them again. Living in seattle.

Karen said...

Hi Rita,
Do you have any Ukrainian food shops in the area? I found mine in Ontario, Canada. Or, do you have family or friends who live in places that have a Ukrainian community and therefore a food shop? Good luck!