According to textbooks, Native American tribes didn't like to waste any portian of the food they tracked down and killed. They used buffalo bones for tools, skin and fur for clothing, blood for ink, gallbladders and other unorthodox quantities for unorthodox purposes, maybe for art! More likely, out of strange animal organs, the kitchen commodity was born. Crate and Barrel, meet your maker.
Similarly, the Russians do not waste any part of the latter day candy wrapper. In Brighton Beach this Saturday, Betty and her friends spent one loving hour in a Russian supermarket, pawing and wowing at the individually wrapped candies that sold for just four dollars per pound.
This picture does not do justice to the care and detail inscribed in each candy wrapper, but it does give you a sense of how the wrapper is used to maximum effect, simply by not folding it over around the candy inside (the three pointy examples of this style pictured here are the horizontal squirrel, the girl in a yellow-green border, the bears, and the ox). This simple technique gives the wrapper an artistic identity of its own; it will not be shaped by chocolate, but chocolate will fit inside it! The wrapper material is also heavy, shiny but not glaring, and quite smooth between your fingers, a tactile delicacy in itself.
Betty's favorite candy wrappers included "Clumsy Bear" (pictured here, with turquoise triangles), "Beautiful Child" (not pictured, but the girl kind of looks like Suri Cruise in a bonnet), "Midnight Polar Bear" (the loping animal fits the wrapper lengthwise, very cool), and "A Night at the Ballet" (for you culture vultures).
Betty still has some candy left, so be sure to ask for a piece when you see her.