EC Eats

Definitively ranking the cheap Halloween candy my grandmother gave me this year

Nick Porisch

More stories from Nick Porisch

The Highlight Reel
May 10, 2023

This weekend I visited my grandma’s house for an annual family tradition called spooky dinner.

We play Halloween-themed bingo, watch spooky movies and my grandma makes a big meal for everyone with renamed dishes like bat wings (chicken wings) and goblin ears (green-dyed tortellini).

There are lots of good times, fun stories and old-fashioned spooky fun.

Now, most of the young generation on that side of my family is between the ages of six and 12. At the end of the night, as aunts and uncles filter outside with their kids, my grandma hands each kid a goodie bag full of candy.

I am 20 years old, have been living on my own for almost three years and should probably be watching my sugar intake. That being said, I definitely still take a goodie bag every year.

So, here for the EC eats readers’ pleasure, is the definitive ranking of the candy in my grandma’s Halloween goodie bag.

  1. Plastic Vampire Fangs

This is unfortunate to say, but my full-grown adult teeth are far too large for the set of plastic vampire teeth that came in the goodie bag.

Sitting in front of the mirror, fruitlessly trying to get the teeth to fit, felt like a poetic reminder of the fleeting nature of youth and childhood. I wish there was a way to wistfully sigh in text form.

  1. Malt Balls

I don’t like malt balls.

  1. Various Chocolates

My grandma’s house is about a two-hour drive away, my car doesn’t have air-conditioning and it was seventy degrees during the third weekend of October because global warming is real, guys.

All that is to say that the various miniature Twix, Snickers, and Reese’s Cups in the bag had turned to goop by the time I got home and was able to dig into my sweet feast.

In another world, these might’ve been number one on the list. Alas, we’ve burned oil and gasoline for the past hundred years and my chocolate was yet another unfortunate victim.

  1. Strange Lollipop

I can’t name many lollipop brands, but I feel like I can recognize any of the big ones by the wrapper.

This one wasn’t one I recognized, though, and the packaging didn’t reveal any name, either. All it said was that the lollipop was “multi-flavor!”

Unwrapping it revealed a mishmash of green, purple and red candy that looked like someone had scraped all the scraps off the lollipop factory floor and mashed it into a new one.

It tasted pretty good, though.

  1. Tootsie Fruit Chews

Finally, the ultimate goodie bag candy — Tootsie Fruit Chews.

Fruit chews have a variety of delectable flavors, including blue, red, green, pink and purple. Allegedly, these colors are correlated to real-life fruits, but I’ve never read the wrappers and I don’t care.

Fruit chews don’t melt in the blazing October heat, they’re manufactured by a reliable source, they aren’t malt balls and they don’t remind me of the crushing passage of time.

All in all, Tootsie Fruit Chews were undeniably the best candy in the goodie bags my grandmother handed out to the children at her Halloween dinner (and me, 20-year-old college student).

Porisch can be reached at [email protected].