Halloween is upon us, you mysterious guys, gals, and ghoulish poltergeists. For many of us, this means imbibing heavily between fistfuls of candy; adjusting our costumes as they awkwardly grip, slip, and cling where they shouldn’t; and slinking home early Saturday morning, with the remnants of the spookiest night of the year hanging by threads to our hungover and junk-food-bloated bodies—scary stuff, indeed.
Not everyone plans on downing bottles of beer; for some the cozy indoors with a horror movie, some pumpkin treats, and maybe some company at your side while you distribute candy is more than enough excitement. For those of you who intend on doing the responsible thing of shoving candy into the grubby and eager hands of children, here’s a guide to the best chow to purchase for your tub of treats.
Kit Kat bars – Give me a break: This isn’t the worst. Wafer on the inside, milk chocolate on the outside—what more could you ask for in a classic chocolate bar? Well, some more variation in texture and flavour, for a start. The fact of the matter is, there’s far too much available in the world of candy to go for a plain ol’ Kit Kat, and you won’t get rave reviews over your done-to-death dessert. Your house won’t get tee-peed, egged, or forked if you hand them out, but let’s be real: you can do better.
Mars, Twix, Reese’s, etc. – Chocolate rain: These chocolate bars—which contain peanut butter, caramel, wafer, or some other devilishly delicious additions—are the way to go. The kids are going to get overloaded with the taste of chocolate if it’s all plain ol’ milk chocolate. Try to select bars that will stand out from the crowd. Yours can be the star of the night, while a Kit Kat bar cleanses their palate.
Wagon Wheels – Keep on rollin’ rollin’ rollin’: This is the treat to hand out if you hate children and want them to be palpably aware of that fact. Normally marshmallow, chocolate, and cookie would sound like the ideal combination, but this is the bastardization of a s’more. If I got a Wagon Wheel in my trick-or-treat bag, I would roll that wheel away from me. Give this treat to kids if you want them to know that there’s nothing to look forward to in life.
Apple chips – Chip on your shoulder: I get that you’re trying to be healthy, and encourage others around you to be healthy. You’re just being cruel, though. You might be a doctor or a dentist, so you’re all-too-familiar with the health issues associated with candy; but this is one of the only days out of the year when kids can go hog crazy off trash bags and pillow cases full of treats. Let them have their day.
Homemade baked goods – Half-baked idea: I feel really bad for you if you procure homemade baked goods for the eager kids in your neighbourhood. You’re the Jean Weir of Freaks and Geeks, and probably about the sweetest person around—I mean, you put in hours for these children, where most people stop at London Drugs just before the deluge of kids knock on their door. Unfortunately, I think paranoid protection of kids is still a prominent culture. Kids and parents alike are warned about poisons and razor blades, and to not eat any opened treats. If you’re handing out cellophane-wrapped ghost-shaped cookies, I’m sorry but your efforts will likely be wasted.
Pumpkin seeds – A bad seed: You’re on theme, but I don’t think kids will be eager for greasy, salted pumpkin seeds when they’re salivating over other high-cal treats. Besides which, are you buying these pumpkin seeds, or are you gutting dozens of pumpkins in order to roast enough seeds for the tots waddling your way? Don’t be a dingus, just go for some pre-packaged candy.
Potato chips – Pota-totally classic: Chips are a great go-to. They’re crisp ‘n’ crunchy, salty, and there will be lots even in a single kid-sized bag. I’d say go ahead and get one of those variety packs of mini chip bags, but beware of venturing too far into adventurous chip territory. The more acquired Lays-tastes of jalapeño mac ‘n’ cheese, cappuccino, and wasabi ginger might be the new faves of your foodie friend Mark, but I wouldn’t want to make any gambles on a kid’s palate. Stick with the classics of ketchup, salt and vinegar, or regular. Doritos are also a great bet, but avoid the Doritos Roulette—invest your chips in a winning number.
Hopefully this breakdown of some of the classic concoctions will give you an idea of how to best feed the kids in your community—or yourself. Have a safe and happy Halloween, and don’t get too spooked!