Remember when you were a kid, how some Halloween candies made you cackle with glee as you slid them into your pumpkin-shaped trick-or-treat bucket, while others were immediately consigned to the "I’ll eat this when all the good candies are gone" pile? Those good ones were probably devoured by your parents after you went to bed at night (unless you had a really good hiding spot), while the not-so-good ones probably languished in a basket somewhere until Easter. It’s not an understatement to say that not all Halloween candy is created equally — and there are more reasons than you think why some are better than others. It’s great info to keep in mind not just when you’re looting your own child’s Halloween stash, but also when you’re shopping for candy to hand out to the neighborhood kids. Because no one wants to be that neighbor, right? Here’s a rundown of what you should eat right away, and the ones you should just leave in the candy aisle at the grocery store.
Should: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are pretty much the best Halloween candies you can get. Period. Why? They’re delicious, and the perfect size for a treat that will satisfy you without making you overly full. Plus, who can say no to that tasty combination of chocolate and peanut butter? In Paste Magazine’s ranking of the best and worst Halloween candies of 2016, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups scored a 93/100 and came out the winner in the chocolate division. Need we say more?
Where Reese’s stand out for their chocolatey-peanut buttery deliciousness, Twix’s tasty caramel, chocolate, and wafers offer the perfect combination of tastes, put together in just the right amounts. Plus you get two for the price of one. Even though a Twix is pretty much the same size as any other candy bar, the fact that you get two bars in the wrapper (when you’re dealing with the full-size treats, of course), makes it seem like more, and that’s what matters. Also, if you’re trying for a lighter snack, you can just eat one bar and save the other for later. Good luck mustering up the willpower to actually do it, though.
Should: Sour Patch Kids
Even though chocolate usually wins out over any other candy, Sour Patch Kids have their own special place among the non-chocolate candies doled out on Halloween. The sour yet sweet taste is unmistakable, and they’re a perfect palate cleanser in between chocolate candy bars. They’re also a super rare find on Halloween night — thought they’re starting to become more common — so if you give these out to your neighborhood kids, they’ll love you for it.
Starbursts are another non-chocolate candy that deserve to be eaten on Halloween. They’re small, so you can pop one in your mouth without much guilt. And each of the flavors taste exactly the way you think they should. They’re not too hard to chew, either. And if you’re one of the weirdos who prefers yellow, you’ll also find a lot of people to trade for your pinks and reds.
Should: Kit Kats
Kit Kats — yet another tasty chocolate bar that makes you feel like you’re getting more. Each piece you break off can serve as a chocolate bar all on its own (again, this is for the lucky kids who scored a full-size bar). Plus, they’re simple. The combination of chocolate and wafer is straightforward and irresistible. They’re crunchy and light with just the perfect amount of chocolate. You could win your friends over by sharing, or you could indulge and eat the whole bar yourself.
Skittles are really just Starbursts but smaller, so it makes sense that you would want to eat them, too. Each flavor tastes slightly different, but not so different that you won’t want to eat them all. If you get the mini-sized Halloween bags of Skittles, you can pretty much eat the entire thing in under two minutes — and enjoy the resulting black tongue from all the different colors. Enjoy your midday sugar rush!
No one is ever sad to see a Snickers wind up in their Halloween basket — even if it’s fun-sized. The peanuts, nougat and caramel, wrapped in chocolate is a flavor that always takes you back to a happy time. And if you’re not into chocolate (we hear there are a few of those people out there), you can swap these babies with a friend for pretty much anything your heart desires.
Shouldn’t: Candy corn
Candy Corn is a Halloween staple. I used to love biting off the different colors one by one — until I grew up and realized they don’t taste all that great. They’re waxy, don’t taste like chocolate or fruit, and by the time Halloween rolls around, they’re just not that exciting anymore. And let’s just face it, they’re not anyone’s favorite candy. Plus, they were originally called "chicken feed." That’s not very appetizing.
Shouldn’t: Dum Dums
Dum Dums are basically Blow Pops’ younger, lamer brother. Sure there are lots of different flavors, but you can barely enjoy them before they’re gone. Plus, there’s the ever-present risk of ending up with a flavor that’s just nasty — or one that’s lost it’s wrapper. If you’re going to eat a lollipop, better make it a Blow Pop or a Tootsie Pop. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Do Smarties get their name from the fact that they look (and taste) like chalk? I’m not sure, but they are definitely not worth eating when there are so many other great choices out there. Maybe when you were a kid, it was worth eating whatever candy saw fit to grace your Halloween bucket. But now that you’re an adult and can actually choose which candies pass your lips, just say no to these tasteless candies.
Shouldn’t: 3 Musketeers
With a name like 3 Musketeers, you would expect these chocolate-nougat candies to be a bit more exciting. There’s not much in them. No caramel, no nuts. But unlike Kit Kats, the ingredients they do contain aren’t all that satisfying. If you’re going to eat a chocolate bar, you might as well go for it and eat something more exciting like a Milky Way or a Snickers bar.
Shouldn’t: Good and Plenty
There isn’t much that’s good about Good and Plenty. Ironic, right? They taste like black licorice (because they are, wrapped in candy). And they also kind of look like medicine. If you’re going to eat licorice, go for Twizzler’s instead.
If you’re going to eat a fruity, sugary candy, there are so many better options out there than Dots. Starburst or Skittles, for example. What makes these so lame? You’ll spend more time trying to get them off your teeth than you will actually enjoying them. Plus they just come in five underwhelming flavors — yellow, red, pink, orange, and green. They’re pretty to look at but the pluses stop there. They’re boring, bad for your teeth, and not worth the calories.
Shouldn’t: Tootsie Fruit Rolls
Tootsie Rolls are decent. They may be small, but at least they taste (somewhat) like chocolate. But flavored Tootsie Rolls are a whole different story. They rarely taste the way you think they will. Instead of the pink being strawberry, for example, it’s just a weird sugary flavor. Plus they’re also more waxy than yummy. If you have to have a Tootsie Roll (for some inexplicable reason), just do yourself a favor and stick with the originals.