Online photos emphasize the quantity of candy available in this 90-year store—tons probably—wrapped or jarred, all carefully categorized because, like Tender Buttons, the famous uptown button shop/museum, without extreme order, chaos would wear the licorice crown.
Growing up, my only experience with American candy was via cultural imposition—American pop songs (A Rose and a Baby Ruth) and TV advertisements (Peter Paul ‘Almond Joy’) mainly, but that intrusion was pervasive enough that I am still awed when I encounter such American largesse, here available every day, by the pound. More than 2,000 items.
For example, I found Bacon Gumballs at $4 per pack, ‘Bitch Be Cool’ mint gum at $1.50, and ‘Fuck Me Like the Government’ gum for $1.50 per pack (8 pieces). There’s more: ‘You’re Kind of a Dick’ brand gum is also available.
Is this carnality liberal, conservative or ‘Trumpian’? For traditionalists, there is still Beemans and Black Jack Chewing Gum at 60¢ per package but I saw no Beechnut.
Across the street is a Hispanic breakfast joint where you can get a normal—not immense—American breakfast for around $5 (!)—eggs, toast, potatoes and sausage (or whatever). Coffee extra.
El Castillo de Jagua is clean, well staffed, boisterous and not too busy. Large, tropical fruit milkshakes like sour sop, sapodilla and papaya are only $4 (!). That’s what I order with breakfast and I don’t even ask if they are made with ice cream because I don’t want to know. I pretend I know, hoping they are made with low fat yoghurt.