By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Halloween falls on the perfect day in 2020.
But the year 2020 has been far from ideal let alone perfect. OK, let’s be honest, since January life has been unpredictable, difficult and trying. From the death of Kobe Bryant to President Donald Trump being diagnosed with coronavirus, shocking headlines are the norm in 2020.
So we need a distraction, a break from all the everyday craziness. This Halloween can serve as that beacon of light for children and adults.
Before you grown folks head out to your socially distant party in your COVID-19 related costume, make sure the kiddies are taken care of with good candy. This week and next week I’ll provide the best treats for children not involving chocolate bars.
It’s easy to drop a few Snickers, Milky Ways or PayDays in a bucket. This week’s Best Sellers’ List is going to help you with those tasty fruit-based candies to provide the children. And if you have a few leftover, send them to 2850 Stage Village Cove, Bartlett, TN, Suite 5 in the care of Thomas Sellers Jr.
Here are my honorable mention recommendations: Sour Patch Kids, Airheads, Sour Patch Kids, Jolly Rancher, Swedish Fish, Nerds, LifeSavers, Sour Punch, Fun Dip, SweeTarts, Mentos, Saltwater Taffy, Chewy, Chew SweeTarts, Lemonheads, Trolli Peach Gummy, Gummy Worms, Now and Laters, Ring Pop, Hi-chews, Starburst Jelly Beans, Dots, Orange Slices, Fruit Stripe Gum, Bubble Tape, Lemon Drops, Caramel Apple Pops, Hubba Bubba Chew, Runts, Chewy Spree’s and Bubblicious.
- Big League Chew
If you great up in the 1980s playing Little League or just wanted to emulate your favorite Big Leaguer, this pouch of chewing game was essential. Created in May 1980, the Wrigley Company created a controversial candy. Some parents didn’t like the close resemblance to chewing tobacco. Big League Chew is a brand of bubble gum that was shredded and packaged in an aluminum foil pouch. It was created by Portland Mavericks left-handed pitcher Rob Nelson and bat boy Todd Field. The product made light of the tobacco-chewing habit common among ballplayers in the 1970s. More than 800 million pouches of Big League Chew have been sold since 1980. Big League Chew comes in original and delicious fruit flavors of neon green (for their sour apple flavor) and bright purple (grape flavor).
This company has been around for nearly a century and in 1967 Haribo made the perfect gummy bear. Haribo is a German confectionery company founded by Hans Riegel Sr. The name “Haribo” is an acronym formed from Hans Riegel Bonn. The company created the first gummy candy in 1922 in the form of little gummy bears called Gummibärchen. After several creations hit the market, the world-famous Gold-Bears came to the public in 1967. There are different variations and flavors to enjoy of the candy that brings the kid out of you. I really enjoy the Mystery and Sour brands of this treat. It’s the right size to get a handful and the flavor is not too sweet.
Easily overlooked by me for several years, my Goddaughter Taliyah introduced this candy to me shortly before my 39th birthday. I’ve always seen Mamba by the cashier and it never appealed to me. She grabbed a pack with glee one day as we checked out. She told me I could try each one of the flavors. It was like a soft Now and Later. Perfect for a man about to turn 40 years old soon. Too to hard on the teeth and a smooth flavor.
Once again German engineering at its finest. Mamba fruit chews are a brand of fruit chew candies, produced by August Storck KG. They are available in the following flavors of strawberry, orange, lemon, raspberry and cherry. Mamba was launched in the German market in 1953 and in the United States in 1986. I’ve since tried Mamba Tropics featuring the flavors, Peach-Passionfruit, Pineapple-Coconut, Mango-Orange, and Apple-Kiwi. This candy keeps getting better.
- Jelly Belly
The premiere jelly bean hit the scene in 1898 in Belleville, Ill. Most jelly beans are just sugar. But Jelly Belly is the flavor advertised on the package. OK, those trick flavors are good on Halloween for a practical joke. But it can ruin a handful in one bite.
You keep coming back because the variety of flavors are addictive. Jelly Belly Candy Company, formerly known as Herman Goelitz Candy Company and Goelitz Confectionery Company, are the manufactures of Jelly Belly jelly beans and other candy.
The franchise is Jelly Belly. As long as they keep putting a sweet, delicious twist on the jelly bean, I’ll keep coming back.
- Brach’s Filled Strawberries
Not just a great treat for the holiday season, Brach’s Filled Strawberries are a ideal break from scarfing down pounds of chocolate, peanut-flavored and other fruity candies. The Strawberries are a hard-candy with a reward if your are patient and enjoy each piece.
The wrappers are just or maybe even more iconic than the candy itself. You had to love that green top with the red base covered in golden seeds. Then you get to that piece of delicious hard candy. There in the middle is a juicy strawberry filled blast.
This candy has come a long way since 1960. Over the past 60 years Starbust comes in a variety of ways like gummy and jelly beans. There are a few flavors on the market but nothing is better than the original crew in the wrapper featuring orange, lemon, cherry and strawberry.
But trust me I won’t turn down FaveReds, Superfruit, Sweets+Sours, Tropical or Fruity Slushies. The OG name of this product was Opal Fruits in the United Kingdom. Since the birth of Starburst, a variety of flavors has been the main attraction.
Starburst keeps a solid fan base with the perfect texture and capturing the right amount of flavor and sweetness.
- Mike & Ike
I don’t know either Mike or Ike. But if you guys are out there… thanks for the great candy.
The Mike and Ike brand was first introduced in 1940 by Just Born, Inc. Since then the treat from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania has a devoted fan base and is beloved by movie-goers.
To answer the question about the name origin, it may have come from the comic strip Mike and Ike (They Look Alike). Or the name may have referred to the Matina Brothers, two of whom, nicknamed “Mike” & “Ike. ” Even former U.S. President Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower has a mythical story involving the candy. It’s only because this candy is do delicious, all Mikes and all Ikes want a piece of the folklore.
You can find many various of the candy like cherry cola, butter popcorn and red rageous. But give me tandy twister, berry blast, strawberry reunion and mega mix sour all day.
- Flavored Tootsie Rolls
I hate the original chocolate Tootsie Rolls — all it is chocolate melted with plastic. Placing it in the middle of a Tootsie Roll Pop is pure evil. Delicious hard shell lolly pop with a disgusting interior.
With that history associated with the name, I was reluctant to try the Tootsie Fruit Rolls.
My parents taught me a long time ago, judge people individually. That lesson applies to candy as well. The gang of cherry, lemon, orange, vanilla and lime are some of my favorite fruit candy in the world. I have a love/hate relationship with Tootsie Rolls.
I love the fruit flavors and my favorite trick is taking vanilla and twisting it with one of the other flavors to make a cream version.
- Laffy Taffy
If you are under the age of 20, you think Laffy Taffy is named after the 2005 hit song from D4L. But us older heads like me know the delicious candy with lame jokes was here first.
Hitting the market in the 1970s, Laffy Taffy is a great treat and conversation starter. Which method do you prefer? Do you eat the candy first, then tell your friends the jokes? Or do you read the jokes out loud and then partake in the chewy deliciousness? You can do both at the same time and make the jokes harder to read.
But the star of the show is the candy. The individually wrapped taffy rectangles available in a variety of colors and fruit flavors, including banana, strawberry, green apple, grape, blueberry, watermelon, blue raspberry, and cherry.
Oh yeah, here’s an example of a Laffy Taffy joke… “What do you call a cow with no legs? – Ground beef.”
The absolute best fruit-base candy every invented are Skittles. Now in a variety of flavors, Skittles have a pack for all.
Whether it is the original or sour, Skittles are perfect for on the go, in a bowl at a party or as a snack during a movie.
Skittles were introduced in 1974 by a British company and came to North America about 5 years later. I was born in 1981 and thank God in 1982 the domestic production of Skittles began in the United States.
Skittles check all the boxes to be No.1: great taste, variety of flavors, easy to eat, convenient and beloved by all ages. My favorite are the green Skittles either sour apple or lime. At the end of this rainbow is a pot of gold each time.
THOMAS SELLERS JR. is the editor of The Millington Star and both the sports editor and a weekly personal columnist for West 10 Media/Magic Valley Publishing. Contact him by phone at (901) 433-9138, by fax to (901) 529-7687 and by email to email@example.com.