I have a problem. My problem is that I am thoroughly incapable of walking by cotton candy without purchasing it. The good news is that cotton candy is typically gluten-free. I appreciate this. I have no actual basis for this statement except that I've never seen cotton candy that contained gluten, but I'm gonna stick by that statement anyway.
So back to my problem. It's been a problem since I was an adult and could choose to purchase my own cotton candy whenever I damn well pleased. I have no idea if it comes from my parents saying no when I would ask for cotton candy when I was a child because I don't remember asking for it. I have no idea if I asked or if the answer was yes or no when/if I did ask. All I know is when I see cotton candy, I MUST HAVE IT.
I remember looking at the food stand with trepidation the first time I saw one of those glorious pink or blue bags in the window after I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I thought for sure they somehow threw wheat in there, but I was somewhat hopeful because I had worked at a cotton candy stand when I was in high school, and I was pretty sure it was just sugar and flavoring. I walked up to the window and tried to read the ingredients through the glass.
Success!!! Normally I look in my trusty Grocery Shopping Guide that is ALWAYS in my purse, and then proceed to call the manufacturer if it's one of the few items that is not listed, but I knew it wouldn't be in there because fair food isn't listed. I decided to throw caution to the wind and purchase it without confirming any information.
I of course finished the entire bag by myself within half an hour. Each time since that first, I've always read the ingredients through the window, and then bounced around in line like an excited little kid as I awaited that first bite of sugary goodness. My husband thinks it's hilarious and cute, but he appreciates that I am nice enough to actually share some with him considering I've never shared my precious cotton candy before.
Within the last year, I noticed one of these on the grocery store shelf:
This isn't the exact one, but I was ecstatic! Could I really purchase cotton candy whenever I wanted? That question was answered with a joyous "YES!" while on our honeymoon. That was when I found this on the convenience store shelf at the resort:
Part of me doesn't feel right buying this glorious treat in a package because it should be reserved for special events, but the other part pretty much says, "Who cares??? It's cotton candy!" My only issue with this pre-packaged stuff now is that I'm now seeing the prepackaged stuff at outdoor events rather than seeing the fresh bagged stuff. It's only been once so far, but I fear it will become the norm. The time I saw it pre-packaged was at the fireworks display this last 4th of July. I saw the food stands and told my husband I HAD to go check. Sure enough, they had cotton candy, but it was in a large tub. It made me a little sad that I wasn't getting fresh bagged cotton candy or better yet, cotton candy on a stick, but I was still getting cotton candy so I was ok.
So where does this seemingly meaningless topic come from? Yesterday, I was at Sam's Club getting company supplies when I saw this:
That's right! An 8-pack of cotton candy. (I apologize for the mess in the background, and I apologize for the fact that one tub is missing and another was empty--I gave one to my boss and I ate the other the second I got back to my office.)
I actually thought twice about this purchase because I would have to run two transactions at the register in order to keep business expenses separate from personal expenses, but I didn't care. I HAD TO HAVE IT. However, when I got back to my office, it occurred to me that I had never checked the ingredients. I quickly checked, and I'll even let you see for yourselves:
I would call "sugar, artificial and natural flavors, artificial colors (including FD&C red 40, blue 1)" a success except for those ever frustrating "flavors" which could possibly be derived from gluten.
Once again, I threw caution to the wind and dug in.
When I got home, my husband told me that he has the best wife ever. How many wives come home with an 8 pack of cotton candy? I suppose I am pretty cool.
So, to all my readers out there. Is there any product that causes you to throw caution to the wind? I've heard multiple accounts of people saying they flat out knowingly consume gluten for a lot of things, so is that the case for you, or are you like me and you don't put a certain product through the normal "process" of confirming it is gluten free prior to consuming it? I realize I'm not exactly being a big risk taker with cotton candy, but I find it interesting that there is anything that gets past my normal research process because I am so incredibly careful.