candy cornCandy corn
Candy corn haters—and I know there are many of you—I’m going to need you to sit down for this. I’m here to wax posi about one of my favorite Halloween treats. But first: Why is candy corn so controversial, anyhow? Is it the weirdly waxy texture, or the painful sweetness? I get that, I suppose. But whenever anti-corners are like, “Candy corn is gross, it tastes like canned frosting,” I’m like, “How is a little nugget of frosting pressed and preserved in a kernel-shaped solid NOT good?!” Plus, what could better symbolize fall than these little orange, white, and yellow wedges? OK, pumpkins do that. But please let me shine a light on candy corn! It is just perfect—like little pieces of sugary confetti…that give me a horrible headache after eating two handfuls, but I’m OK with that! I’m also VERY OK with the kind of candy corn that has chocolate tips because seldom is a high-fructose corn syrup product not improved by the presence of cocoa. ALL RIGHT, I’VE SAID MY PIECE. As you were. —Dylan

skorSkor (Hershey)
I have spent a total of 11 months of my life in America, and I can say with 100 percent certainty that the best thing about that country is the easy access it provides to Skor bars. We don’t have Skor bars in Australia, and I feel a very visceral craving for its crispy, crackly butter toffee innards and milky chocolate coating. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I find myself scrolling the incredible Skor bar page on oldtimecandy.com and reading Kathy from Ohio’s memories of her dad bringing her home a Skor after every trip to the grocery store. I am never not jealous of how conveniently located Skor bars were to Kathy’s childhood home. Skor is an underdog of chocolate bars. It is not filled with peanuts, does not have a surprise river of caramel or peanut butter running through it, and isn’t dressed up in a showy wrapper. It is low-key, and under its kind-of-grim packaging lies an adaptable treat that can be crushed up and sprinkled on ice cream, or even left at the bottom of your bag for a few days in summer and then eaten as a buttery, caramel glob! As a final fun factoid, I have to tell you that the word skor in Swedish translates to “shoes.” I hope you get to eat a whole buttload of shoes this Halloween! —Brodie

allensAllen’s Pineapples (Allen’s)
Since I moved to the United States, a lot of people ask me whether I miss Australia. I feel very, very guilty when I tell them the honest truth: The only thing I miss about Australia (OK, fine, I miss my friends A LITTLE BIT) is LOLLIES (i.e. what we call candy). Even though I LOVE American gummy candy, I really miss Australian chewy lollies. UGH, I AM CRYING RIGHT NOW THINKING ABOUT THEM. The kind I miss most is Allen’s Pineapples. Made of glucose syrup, cane sugar, artificial flavoring, and artificial coloring, they are chewy, tropical, sweet, and just a little bit tangy. They make me think of fun childhood parties and MY LOST YOUTH. Someone please start an import/export business for the sole purpose of delivering Allen’s Pineapples directly to my mouth. —Estelle

fun dipFun Dip (Nestlé)
Oh man, this candy is literally flavored table sugar that you eat with a solidified sugar stick. It comes in a hideously designed bag that looks like an enormous sugar packet. You could probably sweeten your coffee with this stuff, though I don’t recommend it. Presumably Fun Dip is meant to be eaten by dipping the candy stick into the sugar, but everyone eats the stick first and swallows the dip separately, Pixy Stix–style. Fun Dip is also known by its old-time-y name Lik-M-Aid, which is decidedly creepy, and you don’t hear anyone calling it that anymore except Millie on Freaks and Geeks. —Meagan

charleston chewCharleston Chew (Tootsie Roll Industries)
This is an elongated bar of light, airy vanilla nougat covered in chocolate. It’s an old-fashioned, grandparent sort of candy that first came out in the early 1920s, around the heyday of the Charleston dance. I will admit that I got into it because it’s as big as a king-sized candy bar but typically has a regular-candy-bar price. Texture-wise, it’s like eating a marshmallow/taffy combo, which is OK. But if you put a bar in the freezer before you eat it, it becomes a WHOLE NEW CANDY! Frozen, the nougat makes this really satisfying crack when you chomp down on it. The experience is so much better than the original that I don’t know why they don’t only sell Charleston Chew in the freezer section. —Stephanie

ritterRitter Sport Milk Chocolate with Strawberry Creme (Alfred Ritter GMBH & Co.)
I was drawn to this chocolate bar because of the wrapper. It was my favorite shade of pink, matched the color of the vintage ruffled minidress I was wearing, and it also reminded me of the Madonna Inn. I was purely in it for the aesthetics. I didn’t expect my tastebuds to fall in love, too. Strawberry pieces inside yogurt filling, covered with milk chocolate? Delicious! I just realized it’s been a minute since I’ve had one. BRB, heading out to grab one now! —Marie

darrell leaDarrell Lea Strawberry Flavor Soft Eating Licorice (Darrell Lea)
You might think you know all there is to know about licorice, but if you don’t know about Darrell Lea Strawberry Flavored Soft Eating Licorice (DLSFSEL) then you are wrong. You don’t know anything about licorice. Because in the hierarchy of licorices, DLSFSEL wins. No, you can’t chew off each end to make a straw, but that doesn’t matter. Because you can chew this licorice and keep chewing it and it won’t break into a million little chunks in your mouth like inferior licorices do (um, Twizzlers) because DLSFSEL is buttery and sticky and seriously my mouth is watering just writing about it. It has a super-sweet but still kind of light and refreshing strawberry flavor and feels a little gross at the back of your throat if you eat the whole bag at once, but if you pace yourself you should be OK. WARNING: Pacing yourself is difficult! It’s a tradition for me to buy and sneak in a bag of this licorice anytime I go and see a movie. I polish the whole thing off before the movie even starts, every time. I’ve been eating DLSFSEL for so long that I’ve developed a lot of emotions for it and its bag decorated with red and pink stripes and fancy script. I don’t even bitch about how overpriced it is or how few pieces are in a bag. (Actually, this does kind of bother me). The Yiddish proverb writers were incorrect when they said, “If there’s bitterness in the heart, sugar in the mouth won’t make life sweeter” because all the bitterness in my heart is cured with each bite. —Tova

kinderKinder Surprise (Ferrero)
I was introduced to Kinder Surprise (aka Kinder Egg) during a semester abroad in Prague. A thin layer of milk chocolate, over a thin layer of white chocolate, covers a plastic egg that houses A TINY TOY. That’s right: Within this tasty food lies a little present. I found miniature dinosaurs and zoo animals and stickers inside Kinder Surprises, but my joy ended when I went back to the U.S., where the treats are banned due to the choking hazard plastic trinkets pose to young children (though a New Jersey candy manufacturer recently discovered a loophole). —Brittany

screme 2Cadbury Screme Egg (Hershey)
This traditional Easter treat—a milk chocolate egg-shaped shell filled with puckering-ly sweet fondant—has made the commercial crossover to Halloween. I know because I saw it at the supermarket the other day, and I ate it. Right there, at the store (I bought it first, you guys). All due respect to the Cadbury Creme Egg for trying to make it in a multi-holiday market, but did this springtime confection equal AUTUMN PERFECTION? Not really. All that’s different about the Halloween edit is that there’s a green, slimy streak of goo at the center of the white saccharine filling instead of yolk-colored goo. Everything else is the same, which makes me wonder: How is the egg relevant to this holiday? Why didn’t Cadbury make, say, a PUMPKIN MOLD for the chocolate shell? And you’d think with all of the annual limited-time-only-fall-flavor hullabaloo, they would’ve at least pumpkin-spiced this shit. If you’re trying to break into the saturated market of Halloween sweets, I expect a bit more creativity. Maybe next year. —Dylan

pixyPixy Stix (Nestlé)
Let’s get back to basics. Candy is, at its heart, sugar—as much sugar as you can pack into a small package. And no one knows this better than the makers of Pixy Stix, which are crazy-delicious flavored-sugar-and-citric-acid powders inside skinny paper tubes. They basically eliminate everything but the sugar. I like their honesty. I like how tart they are. I like how they stain your mouth colors like blue and orange. I like how you can tear a tiny hole in the top of the paper and then suck the powder out of the hole until it gets damp with your own spit, thus turning into flavored sugar mush. Pixy Stix are perfect for ripping open and pouring into your mouth like your tongue is a cement mixer, dumping into a jar at parties and watching people go crazy, and satisfying long-standing childhood urges to chew paper (because Pixy Stix taste best when you get a bit of the soggy paper mixed in with the sour grape, cherry, and fruit punch sugar-highs). —Krista

gummi-fruit-saladFruit Salad (Haribo)
I’m a Haribo superfan, and Fruit Salad is one of their best creations. It comes in a grab-bag of assorted flavors—lime, grapefruit, cherry, passion fruit, orange, and my fave, peach—and not one of them is bad. Their gumminess is perfect, and their shapes are cute. The best part is that they’re sprinkled with a sweet/slightly sour sugary topcoat. Added bonus, if you need one more reason to give it a try: Fruit Salad qualifies (in my book) as health food. The name can’t lie. —Lauren

cow talesCow Tales (Goetze’s Candy Company)
I grew up in a no-candy household, so I had to find creative ways to get sugary substances on my tongue. In seventh grade, my folks were pretty keen on me joining the track team, and though I was the least athletic person my Midwestern school had ever seen, I figured there was one good thing I could get out of track meets, and that was candy at the concession stand. The concession stand held the key to a new, sweet life, and the greatest discovery made there was Cow Tales, which are chewy tubes of caramel with milky, creamy centers. The taste is smoother than a moving walkway. I haven’t been able to find these gems since moving to New York, so maybe they’re a strictly regional treat. If you can find Cow Tales where you live, hold on tight and don’t let go. —Shriya

Maltesers-Wrapper-SmallMaltesers (Mars)
When my band did our first European tour, the guys put tons of candy on our rider (a list of perks that a band is guaranteed to get during a show). I didn’t understand why until I found out that candy overseas tends to have fewer scary chemical ingredients than it does in the U.S., and that even the cheap candy was way higher-quality. I very quickly developed a serious taste for Maltesers, the U.K. equivalent of Whoppers, which I hadn’t had in years. Maltesers are the same concept—malted milk surrounded by milk chocolate—but where Whoppers get the texture of aquarium gravel if you suck on them instead of chewing them (which is half the pleasure of eating malted milk balls, for real), Maltesers dissolve like a malted milkshake. If I lived anywhere in Europe I would eat them every day, and when I’m there, I do. —Meredith

flodebolle2Flødeboller
My grandmother is from Copenhagen, Denmark, and for as long as I can remember she has kept a constant supply of Scandinavian goodies. My favorite has always been flødeboller, which means “cream buns.” Flødeboller is what you’d expect chocolate-coated marshmallow clouds to taste and feel like, and the best part is that they NEVER FILL YOU UP! Flødeboller is available at international food stores, but I recommend grabbing some friends and making DIY versions (there are tons of recipes online). The best part of homemade flødeboller is adding flavors like rose, coffee, or lavender, my personal favorite. A word of warning: Do not bring flødeboller on flights. They can and WILL explode midair. Take it from me. —Mads

airheadsAirheads (Perfetti Van Melle)
An Airhead is a flattened, taffy-like, sugary mass that you can bend and shape just about any way you want. You can roll it into a giant candy blob. You can mold it into an artificial tongue that you can then put on your real tongue. You can tear it into a hundred pieces and then smoosh them back together again. Airheads’ versatility also means you can fit them in your pocket or the bottom of a bag and take them anywhere. They also weirdly glisten after you unwrap them, which causes some people to recoil but just makes my mouth water every, single, time. —Chanel

DumDumPops1Dum-Dums (Spangler Candy Company)
Dum-Dums are little lollipops. They’re pretty simple, made of sugar, and come in variety packs. There are flavors like strawberry and root beer, but the best one is MYSTERY FLAVOR. These are kind of like the prize in a Cracker Jack box, except they’re a surprise flavor of a type of candy you already knew you were getting. Maybe you have to be a dentist’s daughter (ahem) to find that exciting, but Mystery Dum-Dums are candies I still look forward to getting on Halloween. —Jane Marie ♦