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The Best And Worst Halloween Candy, Ranked


And finally today, let's end on something sweet. On Monday, America will engage in the annual sugar rush called Halloween. Get real, this isn't just the kids. Americans will be hounding their neighbors for the biggest haul of Reese's Cups, Starbursts and even the odd pretzel or two. So we know we're going for volume here, but what about quality? Here's one take on that.


GORDON RAMSAY: Hello, I'm Gordon Ramsay. This Halloween, excited young children will come to your door with bags open. Now, you have a choice. You could give them something good to eat, or you could and give them Smarties...


RAMSAY: ...The perfect combination of aspirin and Tums.

MARTIN: That's British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" earlier this week, calling out and actually throwing what he says are the worst Halloween treats. But what about the best? One person who spent a lot of time thinking about this is Caroline Framke. She co-authored a hilarious piece on vox.com earlier this week, ranking the 27-best-and-worst Halloween candies, and she's with us now from New York to defend her choices. Caroline, this is very serious. You said the absolute worst candy was Tootsie anything. What makes it so bad?

CAROLINE FRAMKE: I think it's because they're trying to be chocolate, but it's like they gave up halfway through and just sort of were, like, the texture is as far as we'll go.

MARTIN: And then Twizzlers you said was pretty low on the totem pole. I don't know, I had a Twizzlers moment, you know, a while ago. What's so terrible about Twizzlers?

FRAMKE: Again, it's a texture issue. And I think the something that we found a lot when ranking these candies is that so much of it comes down to personal preference. It's very subjective. And half the time it was a texture problem.

MARTIN: Texture problem. OK, so let's get to the top three.

FRAMKE: Let's see. At number three, we had Twix bars. I think Twix bars are the perfect example of proportion with candy bars. They give you enough cookie, caramel, chocolate. None of it is too much. They all work together. I'm also a sucker for caramel, so I really appreciate that Twix does not skimp out on the caramel.

MARTIN: All right, number two - Starburst.

FRAMKE: Starburst. I think if you're going for an non-chocolate option, Starburst is the best. I think they do exactly what they tell you they're going to do. They're a little square taffy treat that aren't too hard, unless you really are going to leave that in your bucket, but I don't know why you would.

MARTIN: (Laughter).

FRAMKE: Every flavor tastes exactly like what it wants to taste like, which is surprisingly hard for a lot of candy. I know I gave Laffy Taffy a lot of grief for their banana flavor.

MARTIN: You sure did. You sure did. You were really harsh on the Laffy Taffy there, Laffy Taffy.

FRAMKE: I was.

MARTIN: No love there.

FRAMKE: Taffy's tricky.

MARTIN: Yeah. And then number one is Kit Kat. I've got to tell you, there's a lot of disagreement, especially because a lot of people think, frankly, Reese's Cups.

FRAMKE: I had a lot of Kit Kats while writing this, and I never got sick of them. I tend to - I'll scrape the chocolate off. I'll eat the wafer. I'll - it's simple. It's to the point. I've never had a bad one.

MARTIN: You said that with Kit Kats you don't run the risk of getting hung up on a flavor or texture you might not like. Show us a person who doesn't like chocolate-covered wafers, and we will show you a monster (laughter).

FRAMKE: Stand by it.

MARTIN: You stand by that?

FRAMKE: Yes. It's a simple candy. And I think on Halloween, a lot of candy, a lot of people tend to try and get too complicated, a little bit too fancy with it, a little ambitious. And sometimes simpler is better.

MARTIN: I got to tell you, though, you had - Milky Ways came in close. They were number four. But for a lot of people, Milky Way is candy. It's gooey. It's chocolaty.

FRAMKE: A Milky Way, I can only ever have one. And for Halloween, that's kind of a problem for me.

MARTIN: Good point.

FRAMKE: It's a filling, really rich candy, which I love. But if I'm going - if I'm on Halloween, I don't want to just have one Milky Way and call it. I want more candy all the time.

MARTIN: Good motto. That's Caroline Framke, who ranked Halloween candy for vox.com along with her colleague Alex Abad-Santos. Caroline, thanks so much for joining us.

FRAMKE: Thank you for having me.


CAMEO: (Singing) It's like candy. I can feel it when you walk. Even when you talk, it takes...

MARTIN: And now we want to hear from you. What is the thing you most want to see land in that pumpkin-shaped bucket, and what's the absolute worst? Which ones do you accidentally-on-purpose confiscate pretending to screen for contraband? And which ones do you dump in the giveaway bowl at work? Let us know on Twitter at @nprM-I-C-H-E-L and @npratc or on the NPR ATC Facebook page. We'll let you know what you love and what you love to hate tomorrow. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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