With nothing between you and the sugar and artificial flavoring, lollipops have long been a Halloween favorite.
Halloween is America’s number-one candy holiday — way ahead of Christmas, and slightly ahead of Easter. Kids dream about it for weeks beforehand, and spend weeks afterward parsing and trading their candy. In some affluent neighborhoods, children have been known to bring several bags, and stash the full ones in the bushes along the way. Parents may try to eat some, or throw most of it away, but the piles are still prodigious. Here are the most-desired Halloween treats of the last few decades.
10. Suckers, a/k/a Lolllipops — These hard-candy treats may be better chewed than licked, but the color and intense artificial flavor has motivated kids to crave them since at least the Middle Ages, when sugar first became available in most parts of the world. But where Tootsie Roll suckers originally held sway, their place has been taken by Chupa Chups, a Spanish invention now made by a Dutch-Italian conglomerate.
9. Necco — This antique candy roll contains dozens of crisp and oddly dusty wafers, in a variety of hard-to-identify flavors. They’re probably more fun to play with than they are to eat, but kids have known to avoid the licorice ones for generations.
8. Wax Lips — Who knows where these are made and how they originated, but the wax lips — more au courant than ever due to the popularity of vampires — not only double as chewing gum, but also make an impromptu costume. And they probably contain virtually no calories.
7. “Fun Size” Candy Bars — Yes, they’re annoyingly tiny, and, yes, you can’t specify which one gets thrown in your candy bag at any given house, but these candies (a) contain chocolate, and (b) can be easily traded with your sister. You get the Nestle’s Crunch, she gets the Heath Bars.
6. Willy Wonka Nerds — Does loving Nerds make you a nerd? Decidedly not, since on the day after Halloween, every kid wants to be seen by the lockers in school, turning face heavenward and shaking these tart, delectable morsels into his mouth. Or her mouth.
5. Milk Duds — While “dud” usually means something that doesn’t work right, or maybe one leg of a pair of pants, here it refers to a chocolaty sphere that will eventually pull your fillings out if you eat enough of them, but probably neutralizes its own caloric content by the effort you have to put into chewing them.
4. Gold Mine Bubble Gum — These “gold” nuggets in a cloth keepsake sack are now becoming rare, making them all the more desirable among trick-or-treaters. It’s the one candy that makes you feel like a miner instead of a minor.
3. Jujyfruits — This boxed jelly candy can also pull your teeth out, and it’s the kind of thing dentists always rail about this time of year. But one look at the odd, Jell-O mold shapes, and one chew of the “naturally and artificially flavored” fruit candy, and you’ll fall in love with it all over again. Beats the hell out of Gummi Bears.
2. Candy Necklaces — These aren’t just for girls anymore; boys like to put them on in the privacy of their rooms, or boldly don them and strut the darkened Halloween pavement. When you’re tired of wearing them, you can eat them. Now, that’s recycling!
1. Tootsie Rolls — These dark-brown cylinders have forever been the favorite of trick-or-treaters, who admire the delicious chewiness and elusive flavor, forever wondering: Is it chocolate, or something even more wonderful?
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