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Halloween Haunt 2023: Candy Taste Test Time!

Halloween Candy

Though there was no actual proof ever found of tainted Halloween candy, the 80's sparked a rash of scrutiny over the possibility of little Johnny get a razor blade in his Baby Ruth. What does that have to do with this article? Nothing really--except we're trying out some modern Halloween candy options. These were all picked up during our recent multi-city Halloween decor hunt and include: Tootsie Roll Harvest Chews, Jelly Belly Autumn Mix, Shriekers Skittles, and Campfire S'Mores M&M's. Plus some sour candies, too! Were these tricks or treats? Read on...

Tootsie Roll Harvest Chews are old hat. They've been around since 1896, so they are vintage vintage taffy-like treats. But I really don't care for them. Never did. But these are the Harvest Chew versions in fall flavors including Pumpkin Spice, Candy Corn, Caramel Apple and Sweet Cinnamon. When you first take one out of their waxy wrapper and pop it in your mouth, you're met with the flavor--and the consistency of chewing a candle. I've never done that, but I expect it's not that different. But the surprising thing about these Tootsie Roll's are actually not bad! The caramel apple is a definite standout, but all of them are pretty tasty. More from Tootsie Roll

Shriekers Skittles purported to be some crazy sour Skittles. While there were the usual flavors-Apple, Lime, Tangerine, Raspberry and Citrus, I wasn't shrieking at all. One was sour, the others were normal Skittles as far as I remembered them. Nice idea for spooky Skittles, but these were pretty tame.

I'm not a fan of most of the flavored M&M's. Give me peanut or original. The peanut butter (and those limited time PB&J versions!) are pretty tasty, but the others have been mid. I'm happy to say the Campfire S'Mores M&M's are not bad. In fact, they have a little toasted marshmallow graham cracker flavor, but end with the usual M&M chocolate taste. Now, I would save my money and just get the original version because they're just about the same flavor in the end.

I've never had Sour Patch Kids until now. I don't know why. But I tried the Lemonade versions, the "fire" version and the original version and I love them! They're actually sour and have decent flavors to boot! I picked up the "fire" versions from Amazon and they seem old or didn't weather the trip across country/planet as well as one might hope, but they didn't have a lot of spice or sour either one. Now, that's not saying they were bad--I was just hoping for more spicy sour punch. I'm a Sour Patch Kids convert!

The Jelly Belly Autumn Mix jelly beans include the flavors of chocolate pudding, orange sherbet, peach, pomegranate, raspberry, red apple, toasted marshmallow and top banana. I'm not sure what makes some of those flavors "autumn" and the lack of Pumpkin Spice or other traditional fall flavors make these "fall" a little flat.

The winner has to be the very first Halloween food/decor I picked up this year--way back in July! From Cracker Barrel comes Sour Jelly Pumpkins! These things are sour and have a great orange taste. There are lots of imitators, but these are the first pumpkin jellies that hit the jack o'lantern jackpot!

Overall, I'd say the Halloween Haunt candy selections were pretty average this year. Give me a Snickers or a Hershey bar and I'm good. But those sour pumpkins and sour patch kids can be part of my Halloween bucket any time of year!

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