Happy Halloween, everyone!
When you think of Halloween, what comes to mind? Creepy costumes? Parties? Horrifying haunted house attractions that are way overpriced? Or, what most of the younger participants of All-Hallows Eve think of: insulin-exhausting amounts of candy.
We all associate this holiday with the sweet stuff, and every year kids are released into the neighborhood, trick-or-treating their way around the block until their plastic pumpkin pails are almost bursting with all kinds of confections. Everyone has their preference as to which candies are the best, but today, I’m gonna establish a three-tier system for Halloween candies: the primo, the overrated, and the “please don’t.” First, let’s start with the good stuff.
The Primo Treats:
These are the top-notch candies that kids will fight to the death over. The ones that trick-or-treaters wrangle with trying to decide whether to eat them all immediately or save them for later. Here are the dastardly delicacies of which I speak:
5) Tootsie Products
Of all kinds – tootsie rolls, the weird fruity ones that seemingly only appear around late October, the classic Tootsie Pop, all of the Tootsie line of treats are some of the best confections a trick-or-treater can hope to receive.
4) Milky Way
One of the most beloved bars in the game, the Milky Way is one of the best treats in the galaxy. The combination of nougat with the ever-so-slightly salty caramel is a wicked combination.
Everything I said about the Milky Way applies here, except the Snickers elevates itself by adding a crunchy peanut compliment. This bar is one of the most popular for a reason.
2) Kit Kat
This candy has more going for it besides the incredibly catchy jingle featured in its commercials. The crunchy wafer compliments the chocolate coating well, and trick-or-treaters are always more than willing to accept that classic red wrapper in their pumpkins.
Do I even need to vouch for this one? That delectable peanut butter filling, the classic ridged circle appearance, the iconic orange wrapper, the Reese’s is just tops. Everyone enjoys a Reese’s peanut butter cup, and it’s hard to argue that the Reese’s is the #1 Halloween treat. Now that the primo candies are established, let’s move on to the overrated ones.
The Overrated Treats:
Let me make one thing adamantly clear before we continue: when I say a candy is overrated, I’m not saying it sucks or that it even tastes bad, I’m just saying that I believe these treats aren’t as desirable as the primo ones, even though a lot of people seem to categorize them as such. With that little disclaimer out of the way, let’s continue.
5) 3 Musketeers
While I usually love the other nougat-filled bars such as Snickers and Milky Ways, for whatever reason, the 3 Musketeers doesn’t really do it for me. It may be due to the absence of caramel, which really adds a key flavor component. Without the sweet and saltiness of the caramel, the bar is left with only a subtle nougat flavor that gets overtaken by the chocolate, and the absence of peanuts leaves a key textural component missing. Overall, a decent bar, but dwarfed by its nougaty brethren.
Again, decent, but the texture is once again an issue. The malted milk filling leaves an odd granular crunch initially, which then metamorphoses into an even weirder wet sand texture after a bit. The taste is nice, but the texture is too distracting to salvage the Whopper from “meh” status. These little guys will remain in the pail until mid February when your family finally decides to throw the leftover Halloween candy away.
3) Laffy Taffy
Maybe it’s just because I’ve always been more of a chocolate candy guy than a fruity candy guy, but, for some reason, I was never the biggest Laffy Taffy fan. Maybe it’s because it lacks the subtle saltiness that authentic taffy has – you know, the kind you can get at shops and museums in the Smoky Mountains and beaches when you go on vacation. While the texture certainly reminds me of taffy, the flavor, especially banana (seriously, has there ever been an accurate banana flavored candy???), leaves something to be desired.
I understand that a lot of people are probably disagreeing with me here, but I just never got the appeal of nerds. I find their flavor to be a bit too rough around the edges, and the texture is like eating one of those desiccating silica packets, except with some citric acid and yellow #5 added for flavor. Not the worst candy in the world, but there are many other fruity delights I’d rather enjoy this Halloween.
1) Candy Corn
Yeah, I know it’s an icon of the holiday, but candy corn is seriously overrated. I’m not one of the ones who claims it’s disgusting or anything, but it’s definitely one of the weaker Halloween treats. Something about the almost non-existent flavor combined with the ever-so-slightly waxy texture makes it nothing more than an average, if not below-average, candy. I love the look of the candy – that tri-colored wedge shape is iconic – but the flavor just isn’t very good.
Finally, let’s move on to the really bad stuff. You know the ones, those cursed confections that remained in the pail for months after you had already eaten yourself sick – the truly hellish handouts of the holiday.
The “Please Don’t” “Treats”:
5) Popcorn Balls/Pencils/Bags of Chips
Okay, let’s get the really obvious ones out of the way first. To those who passed these out: we know where you’re coming from. You don’t wanna pass out any more candy because kids are already receiving a metric ton of high fructose corn syrup and you don’t wanna contribute to bad health or anything. And hell, the mega bag of chips was on sale, and you already had some unused pencils lying around, so let’s just give ‘em to the kids! We get you…but come on…it’s Halloween, man.
To a lot of people, these curiously sour little guys are a joy. To me, it’s like taking a shot of 5 molar sulfuric acid. Being a chemistry student, I already work with enough of that stuff. No thanks!
3) Swedish Fish
One of the more truly pointless candies, Swedish Fish are some strange hybrid of candy and gelatin-based fruit snacks. And, while I enjoy both of those things, this amalgamation leaves much to be desired. I haven’t had many, but the ones I have had had so little flavor that I don’t even remember what they tasted like. Hell, they could be one of the primo candies, I don’t know! I don’t remember! They sucked!
2) Good and Plenty
My mother is the only person I know who actually likes these things, and I don’t understand how (sorry Mom!). It seems as if licorice is one of those “you’ll love it or hate it” kinds of flavors. And, unfortunately, I’m in the latter camp. I like the branding the package comes in, as well as the colors, but licorice is just an awful flavor. I seem to remember there being a “good and fruity” variant that was actually pretty good (they resembled Mike & Ikes, I believe), but the classic version is down right atrocious. These would be #1 if not for the reason that they aren’t a very common treat found on the holiday.
1) Now and Laters
Ever wanted a nice little square of modeling clay artificially dyed with the faintest possible notes of vague fruits you can’t identify? Ever wanted to not know whether the texture of the candy you’re biting into is going to resemble Starbursts or shatter your molars? Ever wanted to use your nails to scrape off every lingering piece of wrapper that just will not budge off of the candy? No? Me neither.
Thank you all so much for reading this Halloween themed article, and make sure you check out the top quality content here on Mid-American Culture. Disagree with me? Leave a comment below!