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10 WORST Halloween treats

[EdiTOR’s Note: This is an updated re-post from a previous Halloween, but the reality is that this list has not changed.]

Our neighborhood is GREAT for Halloween trick-or-treating. It’s well lit with sidewalks and tons of families with kids.

So this weekend (despite the pending onslaught from Hurricane Sandy), we bought Halloween candy in preparation of the upcoming spooky fete – here’s a tip all the REALLY good candy is given out at our house (e.g. full-size Snickers, Reese’s PB cups, Super Blow Pops, Sour Patch kids…etc.)

However, I’m always stunned at some of the crappy treats that are still on the market – which prompted this little confectionery tirade of the top-10 WORST Halloween treats.

10. Malt balls – these are the genetically inferior distance cousin to the supremely better Milk Duds. Don’t confuse them!

9. Bit ‘O Honey/Mary Janes (or any other of those Depression Era candies still wrapped in wax paper) – nuff said!

8. Black Licorice – this is reminiscent of Vicks Formula 44D Original cough syrup (bleech!) and is the sugary bastardization of the far superior red licorice made by Twizzlers or Red Vines respectively.

7. A small box of raisins – any other day of the year raisins are awesome, but they are a complete bummer next to all the other Halloween booty in your bag of goodies. Raisins on Halloween are like taking your sibling to the prom – just weird.

6. Tootsie Rolls – I know I’ll catch a lot of flak opposing that iconic candy but honestly what is a Tootsie Roll? It’s like a waxy chocolate facsimile that was phoned in by drunken pixies. I’ll take raisins please….

5. Tootsie Pops – the only thing worse than a Tootsie Roll is encasing it a thick patina of off-flavor rock candy and then making you WORK to get to the congealed center, yuck!

4. Mallo Cups – this is the saddest candy on the list because it comes so close to ultimate greatness. No one can refute that the greatest chocolate candy is a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, yet the misguided folks at Mallo Cup took Hershey’s perfection and cobbled together a culinary stink bug…so sad.

3. Giant Orange Circus Peanuts – these are those unnaturally orange, thumb-size stale “treats” (and I use that term very loosely) that are sold 500 in a bag on the bottom shelf at grocery stores.  I guess they’re packaged in such bulk since they can also double as dunnage when you have to mail fragile objects across country.  These are the most confusing treats since they are not individually wrapped (so no parent will let their kids eat them) and are very unappetizing – they are what I envision the petrified droppings of the Sugar Plum Fairy might look like – muted orange grossness.

2. Necco Wafers – I prefer to call them Necro Wafers since they taste like death in your mouth, little more than flavored chalk. The absolute worst is the licorice Necco Wafer (ugh!), followed closely by the 2nd worst flavor, chocolate Necco Wafer.  I’d just as soon pop a Rolaids or Tums and get the same chalky mouth sensation with at least fresher breath.

1. Candy from ANY other holiday – as a kid growing up, there lived on our street a mean old widow named Mrs. Egan. Every year you’d get candy from her that came from other holidays such as candy canes from Christmas; Easter marshmallow Peeps; or an assortment of Valentine’s Day Necco hearts. I was convinced that she couldn’t pawn off that junk candy when it was fresh on her grandkids, so she saved it up for street urchins like me and gave us the stale goodies for Halloween. Believe it or not, I actually got a Boy Scout merit badge for “Community Service” when I listed this annual Halloween-candy-refuse collection as a civic duty I voluntarily undertook.

Please share the ones you agree and disagree with – but if you disagree, your arguments better be better than mine!

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  1. I will agree with you on the Necco wafers and the giant orange peanuts, but you must have a prejudice against chewy candy. First you slam bit o’honey, and then tootsie rolls?? C’mon, man!! Besides, you forgot candy corn on this list – Blech.

    • It’s a free country and I accept your right to like bad chewy candy – no judgement against you as a person ;-) As far as candy corn, that stuff is just too easy a target – it tastes like dried chunks of Play-Doh.

      • Because it’s neither candy, nor corn, but rather the zombified remains of the Civet cat’s “leavings.” That’s right–candy corn=corn syrup glazed poop.

  2. My husband is a dentist , and we give out toothbrushes…paired with good candy, though! Then offer to buy the candy back from our patients the next day to send to troops as care packages!

  3. Worse thing: Apples. Sorry, we really can’t have non-commercial stuff in this day and age. And telling me to tell my parents who gave it to me probably won’t work. I live 8 blocks from here. Unless you’re really famous or something. Also, this weighs down my bag a lot. Don’t be surprised to find a bunch in your side yard tomorrow morning. Sorry.

    What about Tootie Frooties? They’re like Tootsie Rolls, but fruit flavored. One tip: If you see a yellow and brown wrapper, it’s actually lemon and not banana like I had assumed for years. Sure, it’s written on there, but it’s in super tiny print.

    And “malt balls”? Just call them Whoppers. And the fact that you don’t like Whoppers makes me seriously wonder about your upbringing. Were you born in the Swiss Alps developing some sort of snobbish attitude towards certain chocolates?

    We did a candy taste test of our own. See this for our kid’s reaction to Necco Wafers: http://www.logan.cc/blog/2012/06/the-great-candy-taste-test/

    • Great additions with apples and fruit-flavored tootsie rolls – both are inappropriate Halloween fare. All Swiss-induced-snobbery aside, I’ll stand by my anti-Whopper stance. Malt balls are “chocolate” in the very loosest sense of the term. It’s a well know fact that malt balls are actually moth balls coated with prison-grade-dehydrated-chocolate fakery.

      However, I respect your decision to stand behind such an unappetizing “treat.” Didn’t serial killer John Wayne Gacy request a heaping bowl of Whoppers for his last meal on death row? I think that’s true otherwise it’s a complete fabrication….

  4. Great post Tor! I didn’t realize how many people hated Tootsie rolls until today. I might put black licorice higher on the list.

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