Valentine's-Easter M&M's twofer

Looking back, Mr. Tidbit believes that this year's Valentine candy merchandise appeared on some store shelves the day after Christmas, but he failed to make a note at the time. In any case, it showed up quite a while ago, but he didn't pay much attention to it until he was strolling recently past one supermarket's array of Valentiney (Valentinious?) versions of candy favorites (heart-shaped Reese's, heart-shaped Snickers, etc.) and was caught off-guard by the pink bag of M&Ms.

The bag color was Valentinic enough, and the White Strawberry Shortcake flavor seemed appropriate (it sounds red and heart-like), but why were the M&Ms on the bag shown in such pale colors?

And why, when Mr. Tidbit looked at it more closely, did the giant M&M have bunny ears?

It turns out that White Strawberry Shortcake is going to be an M&M Easter flavor, but — perhaps because Easter falls on March 27 this year, a relatively early date — the M&M folks decided to get a jump on things by offering it for Valentine's Day, too.

Perhaps next year it will even be available for Christmas.

Melon medley mystery

New from Dole is something oddly called Melon Medley — four-packs of shelf-stable 4-ounce cuplets of chunks of pineapple, watermelon and cantaloupe packed in 100 percent fruit (white grape) juice.

Mr. Tidbit was pretty sure that pineapple isn't a melon, but he checked, just to make sure. Nope. Then how could this be called Melon Medley?

OK, maybe it's a medley consisting of the two melons and pineapple. But pineapple is the first ingredient listed, so there's more pineapple than there is watermelon or cantaloupe. If that's the case, Mr. Tidbit believes it would be a medley of pineapple and two kinds of melon.

Wait. Maybe, although there's less watermelon than pineapple — and a smaller amount of cantaloupe than watermelon — maybe there's more of the combination of melons taken together than there is of pineapple. For example, it could be 45 percent pineapple, 30 percent watermelon and 25 percent cantaloupe. In that case, it's 55 percent melon medley and 45 percent pineapple, and its name is based on the first ingredient — melon medley. Yeah, that must be why something that is mostly pineapple is called Melon Medley. Sure.

Al Sicherman