This is Day 5 of our Halloween candy wars. Read day one , day two, day three and day four . Each day this week we'll post a new battle featuring more Halloween favourites. Don't forget to vote for your favourites to have your say.
What is the ultimate Halloween candy? In Thursday’s battle of the candy bling, candy necklaces kicked Ring Pops to the curb. On the final day, our crackerjack panel – reporter Dakshana Bascaramurty, Web editor Cliff Lee and nine-year-old candy aficionado Alvaro Geiger – sample two of TV’s tastiest candy tie-ins to see if they’re still mouthwatering in non-cartoon form.
Contender: Popeye Candy Sticks
Vital Stats: Each retro cardboard box contains two hard, white, joint-sized batons that have a sweet, light and powdery flavour.
Claim to fame: Forget about imitating Popeye. Since these hit shelves during baby boomers’ trick-or-treating days, they’ve been a favourite prop for imitating Clint Eastwood in his chain-smoking roles or, probably more accurately, Cheech and Chong. In 1997, the anti-smoking lobby was successful in having a law passed that effectively forced the manufacturer to take the word “cigarettes” out of the product name and nix the red dye at the end of the sticks (meant to signify a flame). While still sold in some stores, these have become an endangered Halloween species.
Taste: The pleasantly chalky exterior gives way to a full marshmallow essence once the stick has had a few seconds to soften on your tongue. At that point it gets a little slimy, but satisfyingly so.
Expert opinion: “They’re very good and soft and perfect and very amusing and cheap.” -A.G.
Contender: Krabby Patties
Vital Stats: A four-piece, zanily coloured layered gummy assembled to look like a burger plucked out of a Nickelodeon cartoon. Which it is.
Claim to fame: Since the show began in 1999, parents have cursed SpongeBob SquarePants for introducing the fictional (but still mouthwatering) Krabby Patty burger – that bestselling item from the equally fictional restaurant the Krusty Krab – to their kids. They fought the same battle every week: “I don’t want stir fry for dinner! I want a Krabby Patty!” A few years after the show’s premiere, the brats finally got what they wanted when Frankford Candy and Nickelodeon introduced a gummy version of the famous burger.
Taste: The burger buns have an unexpected powdery coating and foamy, marshmallow-y texture. The “patty” and “pickle,” however, are your standard sweet, saliva-triggering gummy.
Expert opinion: “The pickle is very bad.” - A.G.