November 2016: Candy Deceptacle

Being that Halloween is so recently put behind us, I have a confession to make.

I am the repository for all unwanted candy. That which is left behind in the bags of trick-or-treaters – it belongs in my stomach.

See, I don’t believe in bad candy- some candy is just better than others. This is a spectrum I’m sure I share with many people.

My spectrum, like so much else in my life, appears to be completely opposite that of many, or even most, of my peers.

Perhaps even all of humanity.

For my favorite candies are the ones others tend to not only dislike, but actively hate.

Here are some examples:

Circus peanuts: those slightly-indeterminately yellowishly-orangey spongy (marshmallow?) vaguely peanut-loaf-shaped candies that are always in the store but which no one but me ever seems to buy. I enjoy the way they collapse in my mouth in a yellowishly-orangey flavor, as well as that slight, almost flesh-like resistance as I chew on them.

Like all candies on this list, I can easily put away a bag of these in a short period of time.

Mary Janes. Yet another candy that tops the disgusting Halloween candy list of so many people, this very well may be my favorite taffy of all. As a lover of peanut butter, what can possibly be better than peanut butter taffy, especially when that peanut butter center bursts open on the first chew?

Granted, their longevity in the mouth is tempered by the tendency to stick to my teeth in a way that probably makes every dentist reading shudder (assuming they haven’t already turned away in disgust at the mention of candy. For all tooth-care practitioners that are still reading, not only do I salute you, but I promise to brush and floss.)

But still, that lingering peanutty sweetness in my mouth lasts for a significant time after I discard the slightly-oily candy wrapping. It’s blissful.

For a change of pace, I turn to the candy my fellow collegiates would lick and stick to the wall – Necco Wafers. I’ll admit, their chalky texture may not be for everyone, but for me, there’s a certain satisfaction to the crack they make (Dentists – look away!) as they shatter against my teeth. Each one has a subtle, unidentifiable flavor that ranges from almost-orange to barely-banana to probably-peppermint.

These wafers do have a preternatural ability to stick irremovably from a surface once they’ve been wetted with saliva; I’m fairly certain there are still a few attached to the ceiling of the Student Union lounge at my alma mater.

Similar in structure, I also enjoy Canada Mints, those Pepto-Bismol-pink wintergreen mints seemingly found in every elderly woman’s house, but which no one ever seems to eat (I sense a theme). Their color belies their taste, and while I haven’t eaten one in years, I can still bring to mind their minty, lightly medical flavor and the slight sting of the sinus when they finally begin to dissolve in the mouth.

Candy Corn seems to top the list of many as their most-disliked candy, but I adore these honey-flavored delights, whether corn- or pumpkin- shaped. The flavor never actually seems to change with the color of the corn, and while I’ve seen them recolored for different holidays throughout the year, they really come into prominence in the fall. The beginning of October can easily be determined with the arrival of candy corn on store shelves.

How can anyone possibly not enjoy these candies? They’re colorful, they resist just slightly when chewing them, and more importantly, they can easily be eaten by the handful.

Or simply poured from the bag straight into the mouth. Whatever works best.

I completely disregard as irrelevant anyone’s claim that these candies are “Chalky!” or “Too sweet!” or “Holy crap I just puncture the roof of my mouth on one of these suckers ahhhh I’m bleeding …”

People like that just need to develop their palate and stop raining on my candy corn parade. Eat a Canada Mint; they’re medicinal.

But topping my list, the creme of my crop, my absolute favorite candy flavor, spread across various types of candies, is black licorice. This delicacy waters my mouth like no other, whether found in the candy-coated pink and white Good & Plenties, or left behind in the bowl when all the other colors of gumdrops have been eaten, black licorice tastes like the best part of the soul. The darker, the better; but while the taste can be sugary and light à la anise, or heavy and dark like a shower of molasses; I’ll take any and all with gusto. Heaven to me is a cascade of black licorice mix, all types and colors coming together in one sweet, sweet tsunami of decadence.

Granted, my love for black licorice may be genetic, passed down to me by my paternal grandmother. She also had a fondness for black jelly beans and licorice sticks. I’m not sure anyone else in my family shares the same fondness, however.

But hands down, the best part about all of my favorite candies?

No one ever tries to take them from me. In fact, many people willingly try to give them to me. All the better.

Sadly, with Halloween behind us, many of these will become harder to find as the inevitable march of Christmas-themed candies take their place on the store shelves.

Including those colorful, Christmas ribbon candies.

Those, you can have.

They’re just nasty.

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3 comments
  1. kateorman said:

    I once broke a tooth on a Candy Corn. No kidding. Hasn’t stopped me from eating those pasty tasty little delights. Not that I should be eating candy at all, but sometimes my willpower is at a low ebb.

    I have a hypothesis that there’s something in black liquorice and jelly beans that some people have the genes to taste and some people don’t – either something that makes it taste good, or something that makes it taste bad. Actually, I have the same hypothesis about tomatoes.

  2. It’s true for cilantro, apparently. I love it, but to some people it tastes like soap!

  3. I made a comment earlier about some people like cilantro (like me) and to some people it taste like soap. I wouldn’t be surprised if genetics is behind my love of licorice.

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