A few weeks ago, while making a pick-up order for Target from my in-laws’ home in Kansas City, an item on the app caught my eye. Target’s Hanukkah Blue & White Trail Mix from their vaunted trail mix brand Favorite Day. I’ve always been tempted by their delicious-looking concoctions, and this time, it finally felt appropriate to splurge on one.
The trail mix promised to delight me with “milk chocolate candies, sweet creme almonds, yogurt-flavored covered cranberries and shimmery coated pretzel balls,” a perhaps too sweet combination but one that, nonetheless, was appealing. Did it have anything to do with Hanukkah? Not really. No items appeared to be fried in oil like traditional fare, but a bowl of the blue and white treats would make for a delightful little addition for your Hanukkah table or mantle decor.
My husband and I decided to take a road trip for Thanksgiving, driving over 17 hours each way to meet his family in the Midwest — with two small kids, no less. And of course, for an arduous journey through America, one needs more than anything road time snacks. The trail mix proved a perfect little treat to reach for on particularly tiring parts of our journey. The cranberries tangy and chewy, the coated pretzels perfectly crunchy, the candied almonds a tantalizing sweet and savory mix. The milk chocolate candies were just glorified blue M&Ms but, still, chocolaty goodness. We were both pleasantly surprised by it, and arrived back home with the bag mostly empty.
Strangely, it was also an unexpected way to feel a little Jewish pride, too. On the road, we were a little scared to speak Hebrew, to have our kids wear their pajamas with Hebrew writing that we’d gotten on one visit to my parents in Israel, or the Shabbat pajamas my eldest usually wears with pride. We tried not to be too conspicuously Jewish.
Yet munching on the snack didn’t feel at all complicated. A little, silly and delicious way to feel connected to our American Jewish and our Israeli identity (it is white and blue, after all) while traveling through unfamiliar terrain.