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Anatomy of an M&M.

Ms. Sinclair was one of those teachers who, decades later, you still remember with a smile on your face. She brought the perfect blend of kind, gentle, and authoritative to our little fifth-grade class.

Once a week, Ms. Sinclair would give us a spelling test. Anyone who scored 100% would be given a peanut M&M as a reward. Not a bag of M&Ms, mind you, but a single peanut M&M. Regardless, it was all the incentive that we needed.

A pile of assorted M&Ms, probably peanut

When I managed to score one of those M&Ms, I wanted to make it last. Not content to gobble it up and forget about it, I devised a method to draw it out to at least a 15-minute mini-rapture right there in the classroom:

1. Tap the peanut M&M gently on the desk, causing the candy shell to crack. Not so hard as to disturb my classmates, nor to create multiple cracks.
2. Piece by piece, peel off little bits of the candy shell. Put in mouth and let them dissolve slowly. Wait briefly between bits to savor the after-feel.
3. Break chocolate into 2-3 chunks; eat each sequentially. Let dissolve in mouth without moving tongue for longest duration.
4. Put peanut in mouth, roll it around for a while.
5. Break peanut in two halves, and chew up one of the halves.
6. Pop the little end stub off the second half. Chew up the second half of the peanut without chewing up the stub.
7. Roll the little nub around with your tongue for another few minutes before eating it.

A peanut, and two half peanuts, with an arrow pointing at the nub on half peanut

Little did I appreciate at the time that the nub is the peanut embryo. Once the seed is planted, the embryo grows into a seedling and produces a flowering plant. But for me, it was the final bit of a sugary delight.

Peanut M&Ms are still my favorite candy to this very day.

Header image source: Nuts in Bulk|http://nutsinbulk.com


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