YDKJ Editors’ Roundtable – Part II, Candy

by Ed Magdziak • October 29, 2010 • Editors' RoundtableComments (0)1528

Trick or Treat!

Let’s be honest.  The best part of Halloween?  Candy!!  If you’re like most parents I talk to, the candy you buy to give to Trick-or-Treaters is the candy you like best.  You sit there as the doorbell rings again and again, looking at the bowl slowly dwindling, praying that the kids stop soon so you can eat the few that remain.  Or you don’t even bother with that and just buy an extra bag lying to yourself, “I expect a big turnout this year”.  You know who you are.

And now your YDKJ editors make their picks:

Ed’s Top Three List:

  • Whatchamacallit. My all-time favorite.  I have trampled small children to get the last bar.  In my opinion it has all the ingredients that make a candy bar great.  Chocolate, caramel, and crisp.  In this case the best kind of crisp, peanut flavored.  Introduced in 1978 it is a relative newcomer to the candy store.  But it was candy Rookie of the Year then and an all star thereafter.  In fact I have to go get one right now!
  • Butterfinger. I am sensing a chocolate/peanut butter theme here.  Much like Bart Simpson, nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger!  That crispy crunch is irresistible.  I am not the only fan.  A super popular bar that is now available in sticks, snackerz, ice cream bars, and BBs.  If there was a Butterfinger soup I would try it.
  • M&Ms. One of the most popular, iconic brand names in the world.  And one of the best candies.  The chocolate wrapped in a candy shell is a perfect little candy seed.  I have learned that they were first produced right here in Newark back in the 1940s.  They were inspired when founder Forrest Mars  saw soldiers during the Spanish Civil War eating candies with a hard shell of chocolate to prevent them from melting.  OK, history lesson over.  I prefer the original but as we all know they keep adding new flavors.

Alice’s Top Three List:

  • Skor. The Heath Bar’s cousin, the Skor bar by Hershey’s is a little more crunchy and thinner than Heath so you get serious toffee crunch and a closer chocolate to toffee ratio.  I also find Heath to be a little too nutty even though it’s still very good.  The Skor bar was introduced in 1981 as a competitor to Heath. However, even after Hershey’s acquired Leaf Candy Company, which at the time produced Heath, the company continued to produce both toffee bars even though they were no longer really competitors.  I like that the bars can get melty and re-form in the freezer or refrigerator without decomposing too much like a Snickers or a Milky Way might.
  • LemonHeads. Created by the Ferrara Pan Candy Company in 1962 using the same cooking method as Red Hots, this tart candy has layers of crunchy and chewy lemon-flavored candy in ball form.  Candies with berry and tropical flavors are also marketed under the Lemonhead name but my favorite is the original Lemon.  They come in large-pea-sized candies sold in boxes and also larger grape-sized individually wrapper candies.  The larger ones are very good but the classic ones are better.  You can easily fit one in your mouth and still breathe so you can drive/walk/whatever while enjoying them.  The large ones aren’t really huge but they just feel uncomfortably big in your mouth. They are super-tart and easy to eat a few or a lot and not worry about the package being open and the candies getting stale or anything.
  • Tangy Taffy/Laffy Taffy.  It used to be Tangy Taffy and it seems that it’s now Laffy Taffy.  Laffy Taffy used to be too sweet for me but Tangy Taffy was WONDERFUL.  Lately, I’ve been able to find Laffy Taffy (LT) in packaging that appears to be Tangy Taffy (TT) in new clothing.  It seems like it’s not quite as tangy as before but it’s still the tartest mass-produced taffy out there.  The old TT used to be thicker and chewier, too, which I miss a little bit but it’s still really, really good. I’m so glad that it’s come back to the market on a somewhat limited basis.

Don’s Top Three List:

  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups : Obviously Chocolate and Peanut Butter is a perfect combination. And great tasting chocolate and peanut butter really seals the deal. I could just keep eating these things indefinitely. Whoever came up with this genius idea should have been given some type of award. Great under any circumstances, I prefer to refrigerate them and have them cold. This makes the chocoalte shell hard and, for me at least, improves the taste as well.
  • Twix : This was a long and hard decision. I really wanted to give this spot to the much more obscure 100 GRAND. But in the spirit of trying to be totally fair, I went out today and bought every candy bar that I thought had a chance and ate them all. I feel a little bit sick right now, but in comparing Twix and 100 GRAND head to head, I kept coming back to Twix as being the winner. You can’t go wrong with chocolate and caramel, plus there are two of them.
  • Hershey’s Cookies and Cream : Here is a rare and powerful candy bar. I am a little surprised that they still make them. It is one of the strangest looking candy bars you will ever see as it is chocolate cookie bits inside white chocolate. This candy bar is not for the faint of heart. It may be too much candy intensity depending on your taste buds or what kind of mood you are in. A masterpiece of being bold and not afraid of trying something outrageous, Hershey’s Cookies and Cream is quite a unique candy bar.

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