When you’re a kid, candy is currency. It is the life-force-giving stuff of dreams, none too sweet nor too gimmicky. A dropper of sour goo? Sounds good. A hollow ball of tempered chocolate with a surprise inside? Choking hazards be damned.
As folks grow up, they typically lose their devotion to the sweet stuff, either due to health consciousness or a general lack of vim and vigor. Or maybe they simply… forget? Between work and bills and the constant crush of life, they forget they are allowed to buy their own damn candy, just cuz’. I personally cope with the underlying sense of doom a lot of us are feeling nowadays by strategically placing treats throughout my day. It is important to balance the mundane with the utterly sweet.
Allow me to fill your head with ideas on how to infuse your life with treats this Halloween and beyond, with this year’s best and worst Halloween candy for every palate, budget, and occasion.
BEST GUMMY – HARIBO SOUR VAMPIRE BATS
Balancing juicy sweetness and divine tart flavors, this tiny flock of gummies make an adorable (I mean, um, spooky) addition to your Halloween. Released as a limited-edition flavor for the fall, these bat-shaped bites are available in snack-sized packs for trick-or-treaters or full-sized bags to satisfy adult fangs.
BEST INTERACTIVE CANDY – HALLOWEEN SOUR PATCH LOLLIPOPS
These are new, at least to me. Reminiscent of Fun Dip, this Sour Patch Kid’s head is on a stick meant to be dipped in the loose sour powder at the bottom of the package. The lollipops come in orange and raspberry. The best part of the candy is the dipping powder, which tastes the same as the outer coating of a standard Sour Patch gummy. The actual flavor of the lollipop, sans coating, leaves little to be desired. But overall, the gimmick of a dipping candy holds up based on a personal history of tipping back Fun Dip powder like tequila shots at my third grade Valentine party. These lollis are a tasty, multi-sensory experience.
BEST LOW SUGAR OPTION – SMART SWEETS SWEET FISH
A take on Swedish Fish that is low in sugar (3g per 50g bag) and glutenfree, for those living with diabetes or Celiac disease. This brand makes a range of candies like peach rings and gummy worms for our friends with health-related food restrictions.
BEST CLASSIC BAR – SNICKERS
Satiating, sweet, simple.
BEST ALLERGY-FRIENDLY CANDY – DUM DUMS
These colorful suckers are free of the top eight common allergens, making them a tasty, safe treat for those with dietary restrictions. They also come in a variety of flavors, including my beloved peach mango flavor.
MOST UNDERRATED – MELLOWCREME PUMPKINS
These cute little guys have a rich honey flavor that melts into smooth cream as you chew. The cousin of candy corn, another polarizing candy… I think these candies are misunderstood as a part of the gummy family when they are closer to hard marshmallows. Change your expectations of them and you may discover them anew.
MOST LEFT BEHIND IN THE BOWL – DOTS
These are a texture thing for me. There is no buoyancy to this gummy treat, they yield to my teeth too easily while having a thoroughly saccharine flavor with no tang. That being said, they are very cute.
BEST SEASONAL FAVORITE – CARAMEL APPLE LOLLIPOPS
Whoever invented these deserves several raises. These always go fast when I put them out in a bowl. Hardened, rich caramel covers a green apple lollipop with delicious flavor. The next best thing to a fresh candied apple.
CUTEST – PEEPS MARSHMALLOW MONSTERS
While I prefer the bride, and am aware it’s actually the name of the doctor, check out these vibrant green Frankensteins from Peeps. Fun fact: In 2004, Peeps launched a promotional tour that included a Peeps Fun Bus (think Oscar Meyer Weinermobile) and I happened to stumble across it parked in a K-Mart parking lot with my aunt. Imagine if they breathed life back into the Fun Bus with a haunted house spin featuring these little Frankens? I’ll drive, you DJ.