Caramel apples, gingerbread cookies,
popcorn balls and handfuls of candy corn
are the Halloween treats of yore,
nostalgic images from a Norman Rockwell
painting, mouth-watering memories with
no place in the real world today.
Today’s kings of Halloween treats are
old-timers themselves with one crucial
ingredient in common – chocolate.
Snickers, Hershey bars, Reese’s Peanut
Butter cups. All individually wrapped,
of course. The bigger, the better.
An online poll by FactMonster.com rated
candy bars far ahead of candy corn, gum,
and lollipops as the favorite Halloween
candy. Fruit and other healthy snacks
trailed the field, ahead of only
“pennies wrapped in cellophane” as the
preferred Halloween treats.
All things old are new again, as long as
they are chocolate.
Milton S. Hershey introduced the Milk
Chocolate Bar in 1900 and followed up
with Hershey Kisses in 1907. H. B. Reese
made the first Reese's peanut butter cup
in 1922, using Hershey’s milk chocolate.
Frank Mars created the first Milky Way
candy bar -- chocolate with a nougat
center -- in 1923 and introduced the
super-successful Snickers bar in 1930.
“Snickers,” by the way, was the name of
one of the Mars family’s horses!
A recent check at the local Safeway
supermarket confirmed that Snickers
still is a Halloween favorite, tied,
perhaps, with that other Mars family
“Anything chocolate,” was the way two
Safeway checkout clerks described the
most popular Halloween candies.
should know. The store, at McClintock &
Elliot, sells more Halloween candy than
any other store in the area, they claim.
Local author Sam Echeveste grew
up in the Mexican enclave of Grover
Canyon, near Globe and Miami, Arizona,
in the 1930s. His family, like the other
Grover Canyon families, spoke Spanish,
ate traditional Mexican meals, and
danced to traditional Mexican music.
Echeveste left Grover Canyon as a young
man and spent most of his adult life in
Europe, where he married an Austrian
woman named Berta and raised two young
daughters in foreign lands before
retiring to the Kyrene Corridor and
writing “Grover Canyon.”
When Halloween comes, Echeveste’s
favorite candy is Snickers.
“We are not a candy family. We do buy
candy to give to the few kids in the
neighborhood that come with their
parents … small Snickers and Snickers
type of candy to give the kids,” he
said. “I have all my teeth and I am 73
years old. Never had a filling since
about 50 years ago and never in my life
had a toothache.”
publicity manager for the Changing Hands
Bookstore, was raised in the Philippines
but developed a taste for fine Swiss
“Growing up in Manila, trick or treating
for me was approached differently. My
cousins and I would go to each other’s
houses instead of going to our
neighbors’ houses because our parents
were so protective of us. Our parents
wanted to make sure that the treats we
were getting were edible and yes ...
sanitary,” she recalls.
“My favorite treat to receive then was
Toblerone chocolate candy,” Roeder said,
referring to the unique triangular
nougat-filled chocolate candy bar
developed in Switzerland in 1908 by
“I know, quite unusual,” Roeder said of
her Halloween favorite. “My aunts
visited Hong Kong often, and while
there, they would stock up on Toblerone
to give away for Halloween. So Toblerone
was my treat of choice.”
Don’t expect to receive Toblerone if you
trick-or-treat at Roeder’s house,
“Nowadays, my husband and I give away
the more popular candy choices for
Halloween -- Kit Kat, Snickers, M&Ms,
Crunch, Dove, etc.,” she said. “BUT we
do give the big-sized bars to each kid
and not just the bite-size ones. If you
do the math, the price is about the same
and the kids favor you more for it.”
communications and public affairs
director for the City of Chandler, also
is a fan of the popular chocolaty
“When I was a kid – seems like just yesterday! -- my personal
favorite Halloween treats were the
Crunch chocolate bars and the Reese’s
Peanut Butter Cups, “she said.
“I crave those two treats just writing about them!” she wrote in an
e-mail answer to Wrangler’s
question about Halloween favorites.
‘treats’ my family hands out to
trick-or-treaters include both lollipops
as well as my personal favorites --
Crunch bars and Reese’s peanut butter
cups,” Marquez wrote.
a teacher at Kyrene del Sureno
Elementary School who once brought
football player turned Army Ranger Pat
Tillman into her classroom, knows a few
things about what candy today’s children
prefer. She formerly taught kindergarten
and now teaches second grade.
“I polled a few teachers about our
favorite candy as kids: Popcorn balls,
candy corn, (and) malted milk balls,”
she said. “Pixie Stix were popular then
too! Bubs Daddy gum was a hit along with
Bit-o-Honey, Boston Baked Beans, Zero
bars, candy cigarettes with the powder
smoke and red tips (which are so not
appropriate today), Bottlecaps, Ring
Pops, Sugar Babies, and our all time
favorite, Wacky Packages!”
“We were discussing how sad it is that
people can’t give out popcorn balls,
caramel apples or candy corn unless they
“Today’s kids prefer more of the
chocolates such as 3 Musketeers,
Snickers, Twix, (and) Reese’s Peanut
Butter Cups,” Bertocchi reported. “Full
size candy bars or money.”
“Wow how things have changed! The kids
say they get mad when they get pretzels
or generic lollipops or wrapped hard
the Boston-bred transplant who owns and
operates Definitely Debra, a
stationery-and-home décor boutique,
knows that things have changed, but she
retains a traditionalist’s streak.
“Back home in Massachusetts it was
homemade gingerbread cookies. Omigosh,
they were the best. They were huge,” she
said of her personal Halloween favorite.
“My favorite of course, today, without a
doubt, is … Candy Corn!”