Friday, October 31, 2008

Best & Worst Halloween Candy

Candy List Time! I'm channeling my 8-yr-old self here, circa the late 70s..and please, chime in with your best/worst. We didn't have a lot of candy in my house growing up, so Halloween was pretty much the only time we got to ditch the Tiger's Milk and acerola (mmm, rose hip jelly coated in carob! you try trading THAT for a Devil Dog!)bars for what the rest of the kid world was eating. Even then, though, I had strong opinions. Thus...

Best Halloween Candy:

1. Nestle's Chunky. These were just cool: a big silver-wrapped chunk o' chocolate studded with raisins and peanuts. A mass-market mendiant, and really good if you like the chocolate-with-stuff-in-it genre.

2. Hershey's Special Dark minis. The ONLY chance of getting straight-up dark chocolate on Halloween. I loved these madly even as a kid and would swap anything for them. Even now, when I could go buy my own Green & Black and Scharffenberger extra-darks, if someone leaves an office candybowl full of minis near me, I will mock-casually fish through them while picking out and hording ALL the Special Darks for my own nefarious purposes.

3.Goldenberg Peanut Chews. An East Coast thing, originally made by a family company in Philadelphia. Dark(!!) chocolate coating around molasses-based chewy stuff and peanuts. Not too sweet, really good. These are still around in name, but are made by the Just Born Co. (of Peeps fame) now.

4. Junior Mints. Rattling the little boxes was fun. Plus there always seemed to be one last, slightly melted, minty chocolate button in there when you needed it.

5. Mr. Goodbar. Much lower on the worthwhile-mini scale than Special Darks, but they remind me of one summer when I found a copy of 70s-scandal paperback Looking for Mr. Goodbar in our rented Nantucket cottage. This led to my 10 or 11 year old self asking my sisters what a four-letter word starting with "c" and rhyming with "bunt" meant. In the middle of the ice cream parlor on Main Street. Ah, good times.

6. Nestle Crunch. Mmmm, crunchy. Rice Krispies good.

7. Dots. Hard little dome-shaped gumdrops that were fun to shake in the box. Plus, I discovered one day that my mom liked to steal these from our stash and put them in her yogurt. She was extremely embarrassed about this when I caught her at it.

8. Wacky Packs! Yep, it was the 70s...No, not candy, but these were so cool (and designed, I later found out, by the likes of anti-establishment types like Art Spiegelman) that they made up for the lack of sugar. Every parent thought these were gross, which added much to the appeal. Even as an all-girl crew, my sisters and I loved these.


1. Candy Corn. Hardened earwax masquerading as cuteness, in a dead heat with:
2. Circus Peanuts. The heinous spawn of styrofoam and St. Joseph's baby aspirin.
3. Box o' raisins. Nice try, health Mom. No wonder no one likes your kids.
4. Candy apples. Just one of the many aspects of childhood that I found trying. Not that I really remember anyone handing these out. I just hate them.
5. Butterfingers. Blech. What's with that weirdass orange (but not orange-flavored) stuff in there (see circus peanuts, above)? Yes, I know everyone else loooves them. That's more Special Darks for me, kiddos.
6. Mary Janes, Sugar Daddys, all other hard, tasteless but achingly sweet toffees on a stick. Callard & Bowser these are not.
7. Candy buttons (on paper). And the point of these would be?
8. Mounds and Almond Joys. Because I have always loathed coconut. Their only use was as trading material, or for scraping the dark chocolate off with my teeth, stopping the minute the vile white shreds appeared.
9. Hershey bars. They taste like RUBBER, people! Rubber with dirt, too much sugar, and sour milk! Not so horrible with almonds, but overall, way too ubiquitous for being such a crap product.
10. A rock. Because, you know, you're going to be spending many nickels on psychiatry if all you get is a rock.


eric said...

Ok... I dreaded:

Necco wafers... Don't care about their predating George washington.... They are nothing

Anything black

Pocket change from slacker neighbors


Good ones:

Full size candy bars
People who gave handfuls instead of just one
Butterfingers ... Hey I like em!
Mr goodbars and nestle crunch... They sound good now


eric said...

ps nobody gave wacky packs for Halloween!

Stephanie J. Rosenbaum said...

OK, maybe I made that part up.

Scott H. said...

Growing up in the general 'hood of PQ, I always thought that sugary, crap-in a-bag was a distinctively Jersey thing..little did I know!

Caramel apples did make for good weapons, though -- especially when aimed at K. Pulling, the a-hole across the street.

But no wacky-packs for us either. PQ must have led quite the privileged life!

Stephanie J. Rosenbaum said...

Well, I guess i was doing a general 70s candy/kid stuff roundup, not just Halloween. I also found Good and Plenty to be completely useless. Except for telling other kids that they contained carnuba wax, also used for waxing cars. God, I must have been an insufferable little brat.