When it comes to trick-or-treating, grownups and children alike know That One Place With The Good Stuff.
Whether it’s a lavishly ghoulish house adorned with animatronic zombies dancing to BTS or simply decorated with Nintendo-villain-themed pumpkins, That One Place With The Good Stuff (TOPWTGS) is home to a level of trick-or-treating generosity that is spoken of in hushed tones and remembered for years or generations to come.
How does one attain such rarefied status? Decorations alone won’t do it (though they won’t hurt). To rise to the highest echelon in the holy childhood holiday that is Halloween, you’ll have to treat candy like the sacrament it is—and show kids and their caretakers alike that you mean business.
Bear in mind that, for a lot of kids, a satisfying candy haul involves variety as much as quantity—as long as the candy is awesome. (Go back to whatever dank, flavorless hole you crawled up out of, Wax Lips!)
Below, we recommend a few unique and delicious candies that will set you on a path to sweet, sugary Halloween glory. The neighborhood kids may or may not remember your name, or even care to; they may forget to say “thank you.” But in the hours and days after trick-or-treating, their palates rested after blowing out their taste buds with pedestrian favorites like Snickers and toothache-inducing, cough-syrup-flavored wax turds (prepare for more shit-talking, Cherry Starburst apologists...), those children will come upon the small treasures you’ve bestowed, shrug, pop them into their mouths, and hum-scream a rapturous vow to find your home next year and beg for your blessings. Get ready to be a Halloween hero.
If you’ve shopped at a certain Amazon-owned premium grocery store chain in the last year or so, you’ve probably happened upon an endcap filled with several varieties of Tony’s Chocolonely bars. Inside the wrapper of charmingly garish primary colors and Wonka-esque typography lies a mini-monolith of truly superlative chocolate with both kid- and adult-friendly flavor profiles.
Unless you’ve got access to a golden-egg-laying goose, you’re probably not giving out the full-size $6 Tony’s bars. Thankfully, you can buy individually wrapped bite-sized Tony’s, as well as 1.8-oz. bars at a lower price point, just in case you live in a high-traffic neighborhood and still want to flex but don’t want to spend several thousand dollars.
Note about Tony’s: the manufacturer is committed to fairly made, fairly paid, slave-free chocolate as part of its core mission. Makes these treats all the sweeter.
Here’s where you can buy it:
The Candy That Will Wreak Havoc In Your Local Adolescent Trading Markets: Haribo Packets and Hi-Chews
Haribo Gummi candies are a rare thing in food: texture and flavor greater than the sum of their parts. Haribo Gold Bears, arguably the world standard when it comes to cute, tart, chewy, fruit-flavored ursines, are particularly treasured at Halloween because many parents only allow their children gummi candies on special occasions, which would make giving out the larger two-ounce pouches an even greater treat. The two-ounce bags can be ordered here, while the five-ouncers can be found here.
Meanwhile, Hi-Chew—delectable chewy candies, also shot through with gelatin—are relatively unknown stateside, though that’s changing as their wide array of flavors appeal to an increasingly rabid fan base, spreading their gospel well beyond Asia (the original Hi-Chews were invented as an alternative to chewing gum, a product looked down on in Japan).
The kiwi, pineapple and mango varieties are impressive enough, but the dragonfruit is just showing off. They are, in my opinion, the best mass-produced fruit-flavored candy out there. They will upend the candy trading dynamic among kids you know, who will give up the small handful you dispense in exchange for the known quantity of Starbursts... but once they get a taste, they’ll realize all too late that they’ve made a huge mistake. Soon, children from down the block will demand the return of the Hi-Chews they traded away to other kids who, seeing the light, have already happily eaten them. Parents will be called. Threats will be made. There will be crying and gnashing of teeth.
You can become a glorious agent of Halloween chaos by ordering Hi-Chews here.
In researching this story, my friend Marshall told me about someone in his neighborhood who filled a cooler with cans of Mountain Dew and dropped them into trick-or-treaters’ bags ever so casually, like they were Fun Size Snickers bars.
You absolutely should not do this. You should not give children who have already acquired enough M&M’s to make them vibrate fast enough to phase through walls like The Flash an additional twelve ounces of liquid sugar and caffeine. This is a terrible idea and I cannot impress upon you enough what a horrible idea this is. Various Mountain Dew products can be found here.
We’re all familiar with Ferrero Rocher, the little glittery balls of chocolate/Nutella/wafers/hazelnut that festoon party platters every holiday season, but why they’ve never picked up speed at Halloween is beyond me. They’re a perfect bite-sized celebration, and they don’t overstay their welcome. You can remind your children they can luxuriate in biting off the outer layers, extending the experience, or just pop the whole thing in their faces and enjoy the competing textures of velvety chocolate and crunch. And it’s not so much of a treat that it’ll put them off the rest of their candy haul.
Sometimes, magic looks like chocolate balls wrapped to resemble orbs of golden sunshine. And Halloween could use a little more magic. A big box of those suckers can be found here.
And for those of you who just want to see kids’ eyeballs bug out of their heads as you open the door, you can buy these fricking things and rest easy. Personally, I’d go with the Hi-Chews. But you do you, buddy.
It’s been a hard, hard year for a lot of kids. It almost doesn’t matter what you hand out, as long as you make it clear to those children, through your choices or quantities, that you care about Halloween in the same way they do. It’s such a little thing, treats—but it’s often the little things that get remembered. So...maybe get the 20-ounce bottles of Mountain Dew?