Tor Constantino offers this guide as a public service to all men who get stuck eating the misfit Halloween candy their kids don’t want—life’s too short to eat bad candy.
Most dads like Halloween.
It’s a chance for dads to bond with your kids, be a kid yourself while also fulfilling a primal need for hunting and gathering—in this case, the gathering of assorted sucrose confections.
Most of the rituals connected to Halloween are fun—picking out pumpkins, making costumes, eating baked pumpkin seeds, walking the neighborhood soliciting candy from strangers you live near…etc.
But my least favorite Halloween ritual is the dreaded candy sort.
Don’t get me wrong, I want to protect my kids from any mythological neighborhood wacko passing out sugary rat poison and razor-bladed apples—but let’s be honest— when the kids finish sorting their Halloween candy there’s usually two piles.
The awesome candy pile they want to eat—and then all the other crappy stuff for dad to eat.
Most every kid sorts their candy this way.
Stereotypical or not—dads get the candy bag dregs.
But information is power and good dads can no longer idly sit by and let other good dads eat crappy candy—which is the purpose of this guide, to help empower men in the avoidance of the 10 most egregious sugary missteps in candy history.
In descending order …
10. Malt Balls – some people love these things, but then again some people love the Swedish death metal band Gorytopia.
The truth is that biting into a Malt Ball is akin to biting into a dusty, mummified spider egg sac that was once soaked in sour milk.
Malt Balls are the genetically inferior distance cousin to the supremely better Milk Duds. Dads, don’t confuse the two!
9. Bit ‘O Honey/Mary Janes/Slo Pokes … etc – the telltale identifier for these nasty old-timey candies is that they still come wrapped in wax paper.
Since there’s been no change in their outward packaging since the Hoover administration, you can’t tell if these wrapped candies have been in circulation since then. Carbon dating might be useful but who has the time for that.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid all Depression Era candies that predate the Cold War.
8. Black Licorice – I know this is a popular treat among octogenarians but in actuality it’s little more then cellophane wrapped mange.
Perhaps due to its storied history of medicinal benefit , black licorice is reminiscent of Vicks Formula 44D Original cough syrup 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 and I love them.
But they are a complete bummer next to all the other Halloween booty in your kid’s bag of goodies.
Getting raisins on Halloween is 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 anyway? It’s like a waxy chocolate facsimile that was phoned in by a bunch of drunken candy-making 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. Pass.
4. Mallo Cups – this is by far the saddest candy on the list because it comes SO close to ultimate candied 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 marshmallow “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 pack and mail fragile objects across country.
These are the most confusing treats on the list since they are not individually wrapped (so no parent will let their kids eat them anyway) and they’re intentionally stale.
The only thing worse than out-of-date candy, is candy that purposely concocted to taste that way. Orange Circus Peanuts 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 black licorice Necco Wafer (ugh!), followed closely by the 2nd worst flavor, chocolate Necco Wafer—did I mention that Necco Wafers are also wrapped in wax paper? Just saying.
I’d just as soon pop a Rolaids or Tums and get the same chalky mouth sensation, fresher breath, and a settled stomach.
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 past 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.
Dads, don’t suffer in silence any longer—please be brave enough to share this important information. Together we can put an end to this epidemic of bad Halloween candy.
BONUS: If you liked this article you might also like this other article I wrote: 10 Phrases Dads Don’t Want to Hear
Question: What ones did I get right or wrong? Which others did I miss?