Come hither, my friends, young and old, and find salvation. Have you heard the word? Have you heard the word of ecstasy? In my recent travels, I have encountered too many among ye who have not heard the word, who have not been saved, who have not yet beheld the mighty wonder … of Frangos.
If I were a better satirist, this whole post would be written in the style of a rafter-banging, come-hither, Chautauqua sermon. But since I’m not very religious – and even when I went to church, it was a sober, rational Unitarian fellowship – evangelical words fail me. (Which, on the whole, I have to say is a good thing.)
In recent weeks, I have had the opportunity to bore friends and strangers alike with the tale of my weight loss. Too often, the idea of weight loss comes with draconian notions that one will find themselves forever behind a Berlin Wall, with sweets and ice cream and pepperoni pizzas wailing like sirens on the other side.
Not true, I would say. It’s just a question of moderation. And that’s when I bring up the fact that a single Frango candy has anywhere between 40 and 45 calories, and that won’t ruin anyone’s diet.
At which point, a whole bunch of people asked, “What’s a Frango?”
This represents a serious breakdown in American culture. Would someone ask, “What’s Baskin-Robbins?” Would someone ask, “What’s See’s Candy?” Would someone ask, “What’s a Jelly Belly?” (only four calories each, by the way).
So let me give you the divine word about Frangos. They’re roughly half-inch rectangles covered in chocolate. Inside there may be more chocolate. There may be mint chocolate. There may be caramel, or toffee, or raspberry-flavored chocolate. It doesn’t matter. They’re all sinful.
The reason why not enough people know about Frangos is because they originated at a department store named Frederick & Nelson in the Pacific Northwest. I learned about Frango’s from Seattle friends when I lived there in the late 1970s. Frederick & Nelson was purchased by Marshall Field way back in 1929 (that’s why both store names came to be written in the same elegant script), and Frangos then became available in those department stores. With the passage of time, Macy’s purchased Marshall Field (along with seemingly every other department store chain) and Frangos came under the banner of Macy’s.
Except … not always.
The reason people don’t know about them is because the folks at Macys – to whom I used to be intensely loyal and am no longer – don’t seem to understand what kind of treasure they possess. If you walk into my local Macys, you might be lucky to find one display stand with two or three flavors of Frangos tucked into a corner on the way to restrooms or the customer service department. Even the Macys at Stanford Shopping Center is pitifully understocked, Frangos-wise.
I haven’t even had much luck getting them online, although in in confirming that, I discovered a an astonishing sale on Frangos (one-third off – unheard of!) going on that sadly will have expired by the time this is posted. I now have a very nice stash in the garage freezer, and come the apocalypse, you can all come to my house for candy.
No, if you really want the Frangos experience, you have to go to the flagship Macy’s store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, a site that once belonged to Marshall Field. There, they know how to display Frangos. All the flavors. All the box sizes, from the four-piece tasting treats to the dainty gift boxes to the full-size 45-piece boxes. Walk in there and it’s like coming upon the Pearly Gates. Inhale and it’s chocolate heaven.
Here’s my ulterior motive for spreading the hallowed word about Frangos. Do you hear me, friends? I want those little 45-calorie wonders everywhere. Stride into Macy’s and demand them! And serve them to your friends. Let me know when they’re available.