The Good, the Bad, and the Turkey-Flavored Candy Corn
On 2021's new Halloween candy and Black Breath's "Eat the Witch"
2021’s New Halloween Candy
Just for you, Snack and Destroy readers, I tried all of this year’s new Halloween candy. The Starburst Pops, the Candy Corn Red Vines, the Skittles that are so sour they’ll supposedly make you scream. I even hunted down a bag of the infamous turkey-flavored candy corn (which is technically a Thanksgiving candy but whatever).
What should you buy for trick-or-treaters?
What should you horde for yourself?
What should you report to the government as potential chemical warfare?
Read on for answers to all your burning questions.
Snickers Peanut Brownie Squares
There’s something you should probably know about me if you’re going to trust me for snack and candy guidance: I do not like Snickers.
They’re boring! The nougat is flavorless and too sweet and there’s way too much of it so it dilutes the chocolate and peanuts down to nothing.
That said, the new Snickers Peanut Brownie Squares are so good they’re making me question my anti-Snickers lifestyle.
These small squares of decadence are a textural delight — the brownie tastes a little more like sugar than it does chocolate, but it has a satisfying fudgy texture. Toss in some caramel and peanuts — chopped peanuts, not whole peanuts, and yes there’s an important difference — and you have one of the most enjoyable Halloween treats Snickers has put on the market since the flawless XScream bars.
Remember way back in 2019 when Skittles was like, “lol here eat this rotten-tasting candy, it will be fun?” The purposefully nauseating Zombie Skittles are still out there, but thankfully the candy gods have convinced Skittles to stop being assholes and offer up a bag of trick candy that doesn’t taste like punishment.
In the bag I ate, about one of every 10 candies was tart enough to make the saliva flow like Splash Mountain from my salivary glands and it was kind of fun not knowing if each bite would open the floodgates until it was too late.
It’s like a Tootsie Pop but with a fruity, chewy Starburst at the center. Genius!
Starburst should be embarrassed they didn’t make this magic happen sooner.
Nerds Candy Corn
Nerds Candy Corn are a mess. Just look at those idiotic blobs. They’re ugly! They’re lumpy! They’re inconsistent in both shape and size!
Texturally, they’re even more confusing — the shell isn’t hard, but it isn’t without structure, and the soft inside is more like goo than the gummy or chewy candy it longs to be.
And don’t get me started on the flavors. Both the shell and the center are flavored separately so the combinations get complicated — “Blue Raspberry shell with Blue Raspberry Fruit Punch inside,” Strawberry-Lemon shell with Blue Raspberry Fruit Punch inside,” “Orange shell with Cherry-Watermelon inside.”
Nerds Candy Corn are nasty-looking and confusing little candies and I cannot and will not stop eating them by the handful, oh my god I love them so much.
Candy Corn Red Vines
I expected the worst. Before trying the Candy Corn Red Vines, I thought the American Licorice Company had gone too far with this uninspired attempt to grab some attention in the overcrowded Halloween candy market.
Halloween Red Vines? Why now? And why candy corn, one of the most divisive candies on the market?
Turns out they’re fine. Just… fine. Their subtle flavor tastes more like Twinkie cream filling than it does candy corn — so, corn syrup and vanilla basically — and there’s no strange lingering after taste.
They’re not the disgusting, ill-considered cash-grab I was expecting, so props to Red Vines for creating a limited-edition flavor that doesn’t aim to decimate on our tastebuds. (👀 SKITTLES. 👀 BRACH’S.)
Cookies and Screeem M&Ms
Cookies and Screeem M&Ms are oversized chocolate M&Ms with a white chocolate center. That’s it. That’s what M&Ms thinks passes for a “cookies and cream” candy.
Where is the cookie part? Where is the delightful crunch of chocolate wafer? There are zero cookies in this Cookies and Screeem flavor, it is a trick! Buyer beware!
Instead, grab a bag of the Creepy Cocoa Crisp M&Ms. They’re the Crispy M&Ms with an extra punch of chocolate and they’re perfect.
Brach’s Thanksgiving Dinner Candy Corn
What more can be said about these mouth-wrecking abominations that wasn’t already said so well in this Twitter thread? “SAGE AND HATE!”
Technically, these candies hit the market last year, but a lot of people purged them from their memory because 2020 was already packed with enough tragedy. But like a spoiled petulant child who’s never been told no, Brach’s brought the candy back this year to once again demand our attention and drain our energy when we’re too weak from battling a global pandemic to fight back.
Not cool, Brach’s.
More New(ish) Halloween Candy You May Have Missed in 2020 Because of the Whole Pandemic Thing
Here are a few more treats that were introduced last year and have returned for a victory lap in 2021.
Witch’s Brew KitKat: Tastes like marshmallows but does not involve actual marshmallows. Very good!
Hershey’s Vampire Kisses: The oozing strawberry-flavored center mixes with the waxy chocolate shell but the candy never really completely melts together so it feels you have a mouthful of chunky, berry-flavored bile. Blech.
Reese’s Franken-Cup Peanut Butter Cup: They are like regular milk chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups except their bottom half is green “crème.” Quit wasting my time, Reese’s.
“Eat the Witch” by Black Breath
There’s only one song that can appropriately end a 1,000-word post about Halloween candy. Especially disgusting Halloween candy that continues to haunt my mouth days later!
It’s Black Breath, baby!
The Seattle-based death metal band released Heavy Breathing in 2010 and it is a pulsating, brain-buzzing storm of noise.
What exactly does singer Neil McAdams mean when he cries out, “Come! Come! Come eat the witch,” you wonder?
I will tell you! He’s talking about fucking a witch, I think!
If lyrics I found on a random lyric site on the internet are to be believed, one verse goes like this: “The scent of Hell is on her lips / The taste on your tongue, you never forget / Lift up her robes / Snake-covered thighs / Finger the darkness / The witch’s cry.”
I would occasionally play this song on-air when I hosted the local music show at 107.7 The End in Seattle years ago and it got some very, ahem, interesting responses, from both listeners who were expecting to hear something more akin to Modest Mouse and my boss.
Sadly the band’s bassist Elijah Nelson passed away in December 2019. He was just 40 years old. Nelson was a mesmerizing force when performing. He had long and wild curly red hair that would fly through the air like flames as he headbanged his way through every Black Breath set.
Halloween is all about indulging in all things wicked and macabre. Halloween is all about getting sick from eating too much candy and listening to Black Breath as loudly as your psyche will allow.
I fucking love Halloween.