I've never received more responses from my friends on Facebook as I did when I asked: What's the worst Halloween candy? As in the kind you hate the most, not the least healthy?
I started the conversation with Smarties — that little roll of hard, colorful, full-of-sugar small candies. To me, they're nothing. I hated them as a kid, and my own children never eat them on Halloween (which is the only time they're ever seen unless you find them in a birthday party piñata).
I received 80 responses about the Halloween candy my friends and their kids dislike the most. There were plenty of other responses, too, mostly saying things like, "I'll take all your Mary Janes."
Based on my unscientific survey of friends, here are the top 10 most-hated Halloween candies, ending with the most hated of them all.
1. Sugar Daddy. This was hated more for its ability to be a "primitive cavity filling remover" than for its flavor. The milk caramel lollipop has apparently sent a few kids to the dentist. (And a word to the wise: If you're Googling "sugar daddy," make sure to google "sugar daddy candy." The search results if you omit the word "candy" can be disturbing.)
These lollipops are too small to get excited about. (Photo: Waifer X [CC BY 2.0]/Flickr)
2. Dum-Dums. These are the smallest form of lollipop known to man, and they simply don't excite anyone. Granted, they're probably also one of the treats of choice handed out by people on a limited budget (as are the Smarties that I've already shared my disdain for). But on Halloween, the Dum-Dums' bargain price won't win over candy-seeking kids.
3. Necco Wafers. Each roll of Necco Wafers contains orange, lemon, lime, clove, chocolate, cinnamon, licorice and wintergreen flavored candies. It's probably the disappointment of unexpectedly putting a clove-flavored candy in your mouth that ruins the rest of the pack for trick-or-treaters.
4. Circus Peanuts. I don't think I've ever chosen to eat one of these because I'm just not sure what the heck they are, and I never took the time to find out. The orange, peanut-shaped candies are marshmallows with banana flavor. I can see why they're on the most-hated list. I think I've been pretty wise to avoid them.
5. Smarties. Several of my friends agreed: These are the worst things someone could put in your pillowcase.
6. Black licorice. It tastes like medicine. Do we really need another reason to hate it?
7. Mounds. Here's where the list started to get a little strange. It seems Mounds and its nuttier brother, Almond Joy, are reviled by many people who simply do not want coconut tainting their Halloween candy. I'm not among these people; I enjoy the coconut/chocolate combo.
8. Almond Joy. As the jingle used to say, "Sometimes you feel like a nut. Sometimes you don't. Almond Joy's got nuts. Mounds don't." More people were against the addition of nuts to the coconut/chocolate combo than they were to the simpler version. Again, I don't understand. I prefer Almond Joy to Mounds, but I'll eat a Mounds if all the Almond Joys are gone.
9. Mary Janes. Like the Sugar Daddy, this peanut-butter-and-molasses candy has been known to remove a filling or two. That's one reason it's so disliked; another is that, according to my survey, it just doesn't taste all that good.
10. Candy corn. By far, the most hated candy of the bunch is candy corn. Sixteen percent of my friends were against these super-sweet treats. However, last year more than 9 million pieces — about 35 million pounds — were manufactured. I wonder how much went uneaten?