Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Exotic/Disgusting Foods and Beverages Forum--Nigerian Candy, Plus a Brief Discussion of Fast Versus Slow Zombies

     Like the Santos candy I talked about in the post on Ghanaian candy (see April 13, 2016 post), the Nigerian candy I got is multipurpose.  It's kind of a combination of a cough drop/sore throat soother medicine and a sweet treat.  In fact, the Facebook profile for it goes even further; it claims that Tom Tom candies also freshen one's breath.  Could one product actually do all these things, be the Leonardo Da Vinci of candies?!
     Tom Tom comes in three varieties--regular menthol, honey/lemon, and strawberry.  They're all manufactured by Cadbury Nigeria, out of Lagos.  Cadbury, of course, is a giant English confection maker, which distributes world wide.  And yes, once again, this candy was purchased at the wonderful Union Market area in our nation's capital (thanks Keith).
     The kind I was able to find was the regular menthol one.  It's a dark brown lozenge, with white stripes.  As advertised it has a strong menthol taste.  It reminded me of the Santos candies I referenced already, very much like a cough drop/sore throat soother.  However, it was better.  I didn't love it, but it was alright.  I was recovering from a minor cold when I had some, and maybe that helped.  I didn't test this, but maybe it did improve my breath, too.  I was amused to see that the Tom Tom has capsicum in it.  This is derived from the chili pepper family of plants.  Most capsicum also has capsaicin in it, which is the chemical that gives hot peppers their burn (see June 6, 2015 post for more on food spiciness).  As I mentioned, the Tom Toms weren't incredibly spicy--they didn't make me tear up or have to run for some water to quench the burn, but still, kind of a weird ingredient for a candy.  So, to sum up, the Tom Toms were okay--I wouldn't buy this kind again, but I might consider trying the other flavors.

     Also wanted to get into the fast versus slow zombie debate.  I first began to hear about this about ten to twelve years ago, after "28 Days Later" and the "Dawn of the Dead" remake were released (in 2002 and 2004, respectively).  Now, to be fair, I enjoyed both of these films.  (Although the enemies in "28 Days Later" weren't technically zombies, since they were still alive, but they were certainly zombie-ish at least.)  But, I definitely lean towards the slower zombie.
     I'm quite the aficionado of the living dead in films, so I've seen quite a few.  As far as I can tell, the first movie with fast zombies was 1985's "The Return of the Living Dead" (which is great--satiric, certainly, yet also frightening at times).  Although, funnily enough, if you go back and watch the Granddaddy of the modern zombie, 1968's "Night of the Living Dead," you'll notice that the actual first zombie seen (played by Bill Hinzman), moves fairly quickly, too.  Maybe not running, but noticeably faster than most of his cohorts in that movie, and the rest of the series.   I guess they decided to slow them down after that initial scene.
     The idea of the dead coming back and walking around is admittedly absurd.  But, I'm willing to suspend my disbelief, just as I am willing to "believe" in werewolves, vampires, ghosts, demons, etc. for the duration of a movie.  But, that said, a reanimated corpse moving slowly rather than quickly seems to make more sense.  Decay would surely result in ligaments, tendons, and muscles being less efficient.  So how does a rotting body run like an Olympic sprinter?  Also, my other point is less practical, and physical.  In slow living dead movies, one individual zombie usually isn't that dangerous, unless it's in a confined space, its potential victim(s) are unarmed, or weak, etc.  The real threat is the (usually) overwhelming number of zombies.  And that every living person is a potential future zombie themselves, sometimes in an instant.  I think slower zombies lead to a slower sense of inescapable dread.  You can barricade yourself in a secure building, but they're still out there, waiting for you.  Waiting for your food and water supplies to be exhausted.  Waiting for the living to attack themselves for various (usually foolish) reasons.  Having the horde also be fast seems a little like cheating.
     But, that said, as I mentioned, I still have enjoyed several fast zombie films.  But I think the slower version is more realistic, and ultimately a little more disturbing and effective.

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