In publication since 1991, Wrangler News is distributed free every other Saturday to more than 18,000 homes in the Kyrene Corridor area of South Tempe and West Chandler, and is supported by local and regional advertisers.

  Search past and present issues of the Wrangler
    Site search Web search                       
   powered by
Contact Us Links Media Kit Make a Payment Previous Issues

Back Home Forward

No trick to pleasing those little trick-or-treaters

By: Doug Snover

Oct. 21, 2006

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 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 mega-success, M&Ms.

“Anything chocolate,” was the way two Safeway checkout clerks described the most popular Halloween candies.

They 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.”

Yvette Roeder, publicity manager for the Changing Hands Bookstore, was raised in the Philippines but developed a taste for fine Swiss chocolate.

“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 Theodore Tobler.

“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, however.

“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.”

Nachie Marquez, communications and public affairs director for the City of Chandler, also is a fan of the popular chocolaty Halloween treats.

“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.

“The ‘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.

Gina Bertocchi, 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 are pre-wrapped. 

“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 candies.”

Debra Startup, 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!”


web site hit counter