Top 5 post-Halloween candy upgrades

Real fruit juice inside!

Real fruit juice inside!

Stealing candy from a kid's Halloween takings can make you feel more than just guilty; it can land you a serious case of gut rot. What has candy come to these days? Plastic aftertastes, chalky chocolate, and chemical flavoring is no way to celebrate a Halloween haul. Joni Wheeler of Sugar Sugar in Minneapolis recommends some sweet candy upgrades to cure your crap candy hangover.


1. Instead of Twizzlers, try Switzers Trade in that mini-package of three stunted Twizzlers for a hefty sack of Switzers and you'll never look back. Because they're made with real fruit juice, Wheeler says the plump Switzer cherry twists "don't have that plasticy flavor you get with Twizzlers." Instead the licorice is soft, chewy, and very, very cherry.

2. Instead of Milky Way, try Mars Candy companies vary up their recipes by country, and Wheeler says the Mars bar created by the Mars candy company for the UK easily trumps what we locally call a Milky Way. What's the edge? "Better chocolate. And it's less sweet...really, you need to try it," Wheeler explains.

3. Instead of Whoppers, try the Ultimate Malted Milk Ball There's nothing worse than a stale Whopper, which is why Wheeler suggest converting to the aptly named Ultimate Malted Milk Ball from Koppers. This New York-based candy company submerges their balls in a layer of dark chocolate, then a layer of milk chocolate, and then marbles a third layer of white chocolate on top. That makes the average Ultimate ball three times the size of a tragic old Whopper, and about 10K times as decadent.

4. Instead of Smarties, try Smarties Sounds redundant, we know. But Canadian Smarties are more like M&Ms (chocolate!) than American Smarties (dusty, sugary mess). They come in a convenient cylindrical tube and way more colors than M&Ms. Plus, they are rarely sold in the U.S., which means the lure of the forbidden adds to the pleasure of popping these oblate spheroids.

5. Instead of Snaps, try Schoolkrijt Black licorice is a polarizing candy; you either really love it or violently loathe it. And if you're a fan, Wheeler wants to direct your attention away from the chalky, tough Snaps we've all become accustomed to and replace them with the Dutch Schoolkrijt ("school chalk" in Dutch). Instead of a hard pastel-colored exterior, you snap through a crisp, minty shell to reach a spicy, soft black licorice. "Anyone who comes in looking for Snaps I try to convert to the Schoolkrijt," says Wheeler. An easy sell, we say.