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September 14, 2010

Top Ten Polarizing Holiday Candies

Candy cornNeon colors and novelty shapes are not usually the hallmarks of quality food. So I was surprised last week when a colleague who is a serious foodie brought in a mix of peanuts, plain M&Ms and candy corn.

I understood the M&Ms -- along with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, they're the only things I'm even tempted to steal from my kids' Halloween haul -- but candy corn? Really?

"They just feel autumny," said John-John Williams IV, recalling how the tri-colored candies topped the Halloween cupcakes he had as a kid.  "It reminds me of being young." 

Years, maybe decades, had passed since I'd had candy corn, so I sampled one of John-John's. They weren't as sickly sweet as I'd expected. (I think they benefited from having been mixed with the salty peanuts.) But I still wouldn't seek them out.

That said, I truly appreciate the candy -- and John-John -- for inspiring this week's list: 

Top Ten Polarizing Holiday Candies

1. Candy corn

2. Candy pumpkins

Same thing as candy corn, only shaped like a gourd and bigger. Sometimes less is more. 

3. Cadbury creme eggs

The oozing fake-egg center inside the chocolate shell fascinates kids. To the rest of us, it's what tomatoes were to George Carlin: something that looks like it's "still in the larval stage."  

4. Candied cherries

I have the same "larval" complaint about these chocolate-covered treats, which tend to show up at Christmas and Valentine's Day

5. Conversation hearts

If you have to say it through Necco wafers, the relationship is doomed. 

6. Jelly beans

Dentists love their stick-to-your-teeth quality.

7. Peeps

Untoasted marshmallows are an abomination, no matter how cute they look. Their only redeeming social value is as a crafts project: peeps sushi.

8. Whitman's sampler

Pair it with a carnation-filled bouquet at Valentine's Day and watch your romance die.

9. Ribbon candy

My aunt and uncle always had this at their house on Christmas. We thought it was the height of elegance. I'm sure our sticky hands and faces were anything but.  

10. Candy canes

As preschoolers, my kids learned a little ditty about how the canes were shaped like "J" for Jesus, with the white symbolizing his sinless life and the red standing for the blood he shed. Eew. Can't we just let the kids' teeth rot without bringing bodily fluids into it?

AP photo

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 5:22 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Top Ten Tuesdays


for me...I really do not like candy corn or those god awful circus peanuts. yuk!

yummy...look delicious..

I ate Cadbury creme eggs religiously every Easter (pun!) until a couple years ago when I tried one and realized I just didn't love them anymore. It wasn't them, with their rich chocolate shell and creamy white goo. It was me. One day last April, I had to break it to them: I had fallen out of love. They were never the same. But I needed to move on.

I like candy corn and so JJIV's Halloween trail mix was delicious to me ... I also enjoy Cadbury eggs, but I can't commit to a whole ... the mini size is just right.

But Peeps? Perhaps only after Peep jousting.

Jelly beans, never.

Color me unrepentantly "corny" (grooooan!), but I like chocolate candy corn; not so much "regular" candy corn and pumpkins--the texture feels "chalky." I love almost anything enrobed in dark chocolate: Naron vanilla buttercream Easter eggs, chocolate cherries, Ghirardelli squares--I'll take em all.

Hey thanks for sharing this post with us.
Its lovely.

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About this blog

You are reading the archives. For updated blog posts about the Maryland food scene, see Richard Gorelick's new Baltimore Diner blog.
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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