Halloween (and my dad’s birthday!) is tomorrow, and you know what that means…my house is full of candy that I can’t eat. On the bright side, while Halloween has traditionally been hard for me specifically because of this candy availability, candy hasn’t really been a temptation for me as of late. Between my quest to eat healthier and acid reflux forcing me to eat sweets less often, my worth-it desserts are now mostly homemade goodies as opposed to wrapped, mass-produced candy. While a cupcake might tempt me, a mini Snickers bar just doesn’t seem to appeal to me anymore. However what you might call “stomach problems that are only getting worse with age,” I prefer to call “having a more refined palate.”
So now you can imagine me scarfing down a piece of chocolate cake with my hands while a bunch of onlookers stare horrified, and I spit icing on them while screaming, “I JUST HAVE A REFINED PALATE, KAREN! JEEZ!”
That being said, like curly fries, I still have some intense opinions about different types of candy that I would get on Halloween. After all, even if I don’t eat much candy now, I still went trick-or-treating as a kid and made myself sick on Halloween candy. And let me tell you, it took a lot more candy to get me sick back then than it does now…
Those ridiculously small fun-size candy bars were always the main thing I got while out trick-or-treating. While the obvious problem with these candies might be their size, the other glaring problem is that they often only come in milk chocolate (cue the horror music).
It might just be due to the aforementioned “refined palate,” but in my not-so-humble opinion, dark chocolate is the only chocolate that matters. Milk chocolate sucks and white chocolate shouldn’t even be considered chocolate. And dark chocolate isn’t just somewhat better, it is significantly better. Dark chocolate makes candy that would otherwise be inedible not only tolerable, but actually good. Kit-Kats, for example. Traditional Kit-Kats are like the definition of a sub-par candy. Make them dark chocolate instead, and suddenly they’re amazing.
Bunch-a-Crunch is another example. For those of you who don’t know, Bunch-a-Crunch is a candy that’s just clumps of Nestle Crunch Bar rice crisps covered in chocolate. It has always been one of my favorite candies, but I had only ever seen it in milk chocolate. I actually found the dark chocolate version in the most random store a few months ago and I practically fell to my knees and wept. Yeah, no one can say that I don’t make for interesting entertainment for retail workers every time I enter a store.
Of course, I’m particular about my dark chocolate candy as well. While I love dark chocolate-coated caramels, the caramel has to have a certain consistency for it to be an even half-decent piece of candy. If I’m indulging in a delicious caramel treat, I don’t want any crummy, runny Milky Way caramel in my chocolate. I want a delicious, chewy Godiva caramel that’s going to get stuck in my teeth. That’s the stuff. Nevertheless, dark chocolate is objectively the best. It is the only chocolate worth eating and getting sick on.
Considering the fact that milk chocolate is not my favorite, I’m sure it’s not surprising that I’ve never been the biggest M&M’s fan. Even when the dark chocolate came out, I wasn’t too impressed. Maybe I’m just not the biggest fan of candy coating. Regardless of the reasoning, I was trading out my M&M’s on Halloween night
That is, until peanut butter M&M’s came out. Peanut butter M&M’s are the best variety that has ever been created. More hefty than Reese’s Pieces and with a larger peanut-butter-to-chocolate ratio than a Reese’s cup, they’re a perfect go-to for your peanut buttery candy needs. So get out of here with your small bags of milk chocolate M&M’s. To quote Patrick Henry (because I’m sure he would’ve said this if M&M’s were a thing during the American revolution) give me peanut butter M&M’s or give me death! Or, you know, just trade me for something better.
Now that my body doesn’t handle candy as well, my go-tos have transitioned more to lollipops and gummy candies than chocolates. While I can only eat so much chocolate, I seem to be able to handle gummy candies much better and can eat bags upon bags of them. With all of the nasty milk-chocolate being given out to trick-or-treaters, getting a Dum Dum or some Sour Patch Kids can be like a breath of fresh air.
The thing with lollipops is that each different brand has its own best flavor. For Blow Pops, it’s cherry. For Tootsie Pops, it’ chocolate. For pretty much everything else, it’s “blue raspberry.” I use quotes because, honestly, I just call this flavor “blue.” As my mother used to say “nothing in nature is that color!” Blue razz may be unnatural and unhealthy, but boy is it good. There’s nothing like having a blue tongue from eating the most delicious Push Pop. And you can bet that I sport that blue tongue like a badge of honor. Remember when they came out with that three-flavor-Push Pop with blue raspberry, watermelon, and strawberry? Innovation at its finest.
The blue-candy superiority doesn’t stop there. When it comes to gummy worms, the red/blue gummy duos are the best, the red/yellow is tolerable, and the orange/green is trash. Pretty much every orange gummy is garbage. Like orange Sour Patch Kids? The only way to eat them is to throw them away. Once you eat the green and red Sour Patch Kids out of the box, it’s essentially finished. If I’m getting Sour Patch Kids on Halloween, I’m eating the red and green, then taping up the box like it was never opened and trading the rest for something else. Don’t judge me! I know that all of you eat the pink Starbursts and leave the rest of us with your red, yellow, and orange Starburst TRASH!
The Stuff that You Trade for More Reese’s Cups
At the very bottom of the candy hierarchy, we have the candies like Dots, Mike & Ikes, jelly beans, and candy corn. Now, it may be a crime to disparage candy corn on a Halloween-themed post, but they are, truly and unarguably, garbage. Any candy of that texture is just unpleasant to eat. These are the candies that I would not only trade away, but not even take in the first place. If I get to your house and you’re giving out Dots, I will deliberately ask you for dental floss instead. Seriously, weird jelly candies have no place in my trick-or-treating bag. I will give a pass to Jelly Belly jelly beans because they are at least small enough that you can’t tell that the texture is awful. Plus, they’re the only candy that come in delicious flavors like toasted marshmallow and buttered popcorn. Yum!
Surprisingly enough, all of this talking about candy has only made me crave more candy, so I’m going to go hide all of the peanut butter M&M’s from those pesky trick-or-treaters. Happy Halloween, everyone! I hope that you get a lot of Reese’s and egg that guys house that gives you Dots!
Photography by my talented fiancé. You can find him on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/hope_grows_here/