Halloween Candy: A Scholarly Treatise

The appeal of Halloween is easy to see. It revolves around one of the most magical themes of childhood: free candy. I had a slavish, almost pathological devotion to sweets growing up. It drove me insane, INSANE, to watch my sister parcel out her Halloween candy stash. She would eat one piece per day to make it last longer. Last longer??? What kind of craziness is that? Eating yourself into a sugar coma is what it’s all about.

My mother didn’t like the idea of dragging out the sugar-fest either. All she saw, though, were fillings and dental bills. So her bright idea for a couple of years was to make us eat all our candy within a 24-hour period. Anything left over was confiscated. I can’t describe the envy in my classmates eyes when I would open my lunchbox on November 1st to find it packed solid with candy (and a thermos of milk to make it nutritious!) “Oh yeah,” I would say with a toss of my hair, “my mom always gives me candy for lunch.”

I still have that crazy blood-lust for chocolate that starts up around Oct. 25 and goes strong through the New Year. I fondle our bowlful of Halloween candy on the entry hall table and I simply can’t resist arranging it in piles according to superiority.

In order from best to worst:

Peanut Butter M&Ms


Mini Peanut Butter Cups (The chocolate-to-peanut butter ratio is better than the large ones.)

Kit Kat

Peanut M&Ms

Junior Mints

100 Grand Bar (this would rate higher if only the caramel were softer. Alas.)


3 Musketeers

Plain M&Ms

Snickers are distracting, trying to be too many things at once. Baby Ruths are Snicker’s poor country cousins. Special Darks? What do you take me for? A European? And don’t even talk to me about those bottom feeders of the candy world: Tootsie Rolls, Bit O Honey and Double Bubble. Who buys those? Why don’t they just put a sign on their door that says, “I hate kids”?

Dads seem to be the ones who take the kids around the neighborhood on Halloween night. In my family I’m the one who goes from door-to-door. I am the hunter. I especially like taking toddlers. We go early when it’s still light out, meaning neighbor’s supplies are fresh. We might come across some cunning soul who eschews the Costco assortment for something more exotic: gummy eyeballs, Sugar Babies or perhaps even a Symphony bar (snack size? fun size? I’ll take either.)

Yes, costumes are fun. Jack-o-lanterns are a nice tradition. I like the Monster Mash as much as the next person. But let’s get real here; Halloween is nothing without sugar. Nothing.

Photo courtesy of DesignMom

| Filed under Good Things, Holidays, Yum

9 thoughts on “Halloween Candy: A Scholarly Treatise

  1. We should go through our kids' candy together – I'll take all the Snickers and the Baby Ruths (and the Reese's – for the love of God, woman, where are the Reese's peanut butter cups on your list?) and you can have the Butterfingers and all the rest. Sheesh. Butterfingers! Why?

  2. Jennie, you are SUCH A HOOT! I laugh myself silly at your blogs. Yes, you and sugar, and me and sugar, too. Bad combination as one gets older. Sugar coma becomes a real-life (unpleasant) experience!

    I may have ruined your slumber party by belly-dancing, but you must admit I made your day by giving you solid candy for 24 hours!

  3. AMEN!!!! I love candy and I go through my kids stash and steal all the good stuff. They get a small bag of favorites and the rest "went" to the twins, now that they are on their missions the Bishopric wants the "crappy" candy for the kids that frequent the office…since my hubby is in it they can have it. 🙂

  4. I am all about the 24 hour candy high. I let my kids have as much candy as they want on Halloween (so Saturday for us this year) and then it is one piece a day after that until I get sick of looking at it or have eaten all of the good stuff and then it goes in the garbage.

    And I have to say that I almost completely agree with your list, although I love Double Bubble (for like 5 seconds until it loses it's flavor or gives me a tooth ache!)

  5. I let the kids eat as much as possible for a couple days. I figure it is better than extending the cavity decay. Then I scrub down their teeth really well over for those days.

    I love your list, agree about the dark chocolate, but I put Snickers right below Twix and Peanut Butter M&M's below those two. My favorite breakfast in college was a milk and Snickers from the vending machine while on break from my morning cleaning job. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

  6. "Who buys those?!" Bahaha! Our town does not take part in door to door trick or treating anymore. Instead they have all the businesses set up a booth on the town square and you have to stand with your kids in a mile long line to trick or treat. It stinks and nearly EVERYONE of the businesses buy the tootsie roll/bit o honey/fruity mix stuff.

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