To me (as a white girl who grew up in the suburbs and went trick-or-treatingin the 1970s) there are certain candies that scream Halloween. In fact,whereas I ate candy year round when I was a child, there were certain treatsthat I only got in my treat bag at Halloween, and rarely saw the rest ofthe year. It wouldnt be Halloween without these. I dread the day they stopmaking them, even if I dont particularly like them, because another part ofmy childhood will be gone.
Tootsie Rolls: Ah, the delightful Tootsie Roll. It tastes like nothing somuch as a sweet blob of Play Doh with a tiny bit of chocolate flavoring. Ifyou suck on an unwrapped Tootsie, for the first few moments youll taste thewaxed paper it was wrapped in. My younger sister used to just eat the paper,too, saying there was no point in unwrapping them. (Baby Ruths have the sameproblem.) Did you ever have one of those sets of four cans of Play Doh, eachcan in a different color? And did you ever mix all the colors together tosee what it would look like, and then bum out because you couldnt separatethem again? I have often wondered if the Tootsie Roll manufacturers spentthe entire year before Halloween collecting all the mixed Play Doh, blendingit with a little cheap chocolate powder, and wrapping it in waxed paper. Itdoesnt matter. Tootsie Rolls are Halloween, and I love them even if I cantidentify the substances from which they are made.
Peanut Kisses: These orange and black wrapped marvels are the peanut butter equivalent of the Tootsie Rolldistinct wax paper bouquet and dubiousflavor.
Pixie Stix: One snort and youre on your way to glitter-pastel-sugar-inducedheaven worthy of the Krofft Supershow. These could have been sold alongsidethe uppers and downers at Studio 54. Colored sugar in a straw. Just thebasics with easy delivery.
SweeTarts (little 3-packs): The concentrated version of Pixie Stix. Openingeach of the little envelopes was like playing the lottery. Sometimes youdwin, and there would be a fourth candy in the package, and at least three ofthe tarts would be purple, the best flavor. (Note that with Halloween candycolor and flavor are often the same thing.) Sometimes youd lose, and therewould only be 2 orange and 1 green, the more disappointing flavors.
Smartees: The poor mans SweeTart. All the sugar, half the flavor, andseveral times the candies in one pack. Many of the so-called flavors tastesuspiciously like baby asprin.
Dubble Bubble Gum: An explosion of sugar and essence of Pepto Bismol madeeven more astounding by the fact that the flavor lasts only about 30seconds. Doubles as an excellent projectile for whipping at unsuspectingsiblings or neighbor kids.
Candy Corn: One handful is guaranteed to coat your teeth in a sugary pastefor a week. The yellow-topped variety was good, but thebrown/chocolate-topped kind rivaled the Tootsie Roll for artificiality. Bestmade into makeshift vampire fangs.
Red Laces: Another one of those treats with no discernable natural flavor,but numerous theatrical uses, including but not limited toL fake moustache,fake scar, fake shoelace, fake bracelet, fake ring, fake earring, fake belt,or edible bondage toy (for older trick-or-treaters). Best not consumed.
And last, but not least:
Milk Duds and Dots mini-boxes: A lesson from my childhooddo not give theseto great aunts with false teeth, even innocently.