Today in Halloween: Good candy and bad candy

During the Halloween season, I’m looking at some of the things that make Halloween … Halloween.

There’s a pecking order in the world of Halloween candy. At least there is in my household.

Hard, relatively flavorless candy like Tootsie Rolls and Bit-O-Honey rank very low on the list, just above the kind of generic candy that people can buy in bulk at discount stores.

Really, has any kid in the past 30 years been excited by the prospect of getting a Tootsie Roll tossed in their bag?

The middle-ground is held by a variety of treats, including some that don’t really get distributed much anymore. when I was a kid, people made popcorn balls and handed them out to trick-or-treaters. But many parents discourage consumption of homemade treats these days, so popcorn balls have faded in popularity. A few years ago I discovered that some company actually made and wrapped popcorn balls for Halloween distribution.

The best case scenario – realistically speaking – for trick-or-treaters is probably the “fun size” versions of popular candy like Twix and Snickers. They’re recognizable candies and actually welcome in a treat bag – and on the kitchen table back at home.

The top of the line, given out only by only some households in some neighborhood, is the stuff of legend: Full-size candy bars.

Each year I tease my wife that we’re going to take any trick-or-treaters we’re responsible for to the ritziest neighborhood around, where legend has it they give out the full-size bars. I’m not sure that such a practice actually exists because she always pooh-poohs the idea.

But a lifelong appreciator of trick-or-treating can dream, can’t he?


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