It’s no secret I love to rank things, seeing as how I’ve done it with holidays, herbs/spices and Thanksgiving staple foods. But today I’m doing what is sure to be the most divisive, controversial rankings yet: candy.
Candy is awesome. There’s a reason that it’s given out for Halloween. And Easter. And Valentine’s Day. And Christmas, to some extent. It gets mixed in with our ice creams and our frozen yogurts, it gets re-purposed into various recipes, it’s the slang term for a high-gloss paint job on a car…candy is everywhere in our lives. Everyone loves candy.
But which candy is the best of the best? I’m not kidding, this is seriously one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. They’re like my children: I love them all so much…but I’m still gonna be able to rank them in a general order. To the list!
Without further ado, let’s unwrap the rankings (get it? Unwrap? Ahh…classic):
- Reese’s — Ultimately, the exact order of this list comes down to your thoughts on chocolate vs. non-chocolate candies. I tend to fall on the chocolate side of things, so no drama at the top: Reese’s PB cups are a classic combo. Chocolate and peanut butter are delicious together, they come in plenty of varieties, and it makes the best Blizzard mix-in without question. Put it this way: mc chris wrote a song about them.Do you see him writing songs about Abba-Zaba or Uno Bars? I don’t think so. Reese’s takes the #1 spot here easily. Sucks for people with peanut allergies!
- Kit Kat — Wafers are usually a dangerous proposition in the candy world — one look at a roll of chalky, disgusting Neccos should be enough to convince you of that. But Kit Kats? OUTSTANDING. Kit Kats are incredibly satisfying to bite into, what with their crispy crunchy texture, and they’re highly delicious…what more do you need? What’s that you say? You crave more flavors? Well it’s your LUCKY FUCKING DAY. Kit Kats are just terrific. For a while, Dairy Queen had Kit Kat Blizzards, and I’m not kidding when I say I’d eat at least one a week if they brought them back. Get on that, DQ.
- Skittles — The best fruit candy by a wide margin — if I were on the non-chocolate bandwagon, it would have been my #1 overall. Skittles are incredibly addicting: they’re just the right amount of chewy to be truly savored on the palette without chewing becoming a monotonous, repetitive exercise. They’re also probably the most accurately flavored fruit candy. I mean, does anyone think the pink Starburst really taste like…whatever the fuck pink symbolizes? How about the needlessly intense fruit-flavored lime and grape Tootsie Rolls? Skittles are better than all other fruit candies, no doubt at all.
- Snickers — Peanuts are a strong candy ingredient. As is caramel. But putting both together in one bar?! Now that’s just playing mad scientist. It’s as though there was an explosion in the candy laboratory that resulted in a regular chocolate bar getting delicious superpowers, and that bar would go on to be named “Snickers.” This is about the closest thing we have to an ice cream sundae in chocolate bar form, and it’s hard to overstate how good a Snickers bar tastes. Added bonus: they created one of the best candy commercials of all time:
- Twix — Incredibly satisfying to eat. That was the first note I wrote when I sketched out this outline, but I can’t really think of much else to say that’s more accurate: Twix really is just incredibly satisfying to eat. It’s crunchy and chocolatey and caramely all at once. The key differentiator is the cookie interior, which not many (if any) other candy bars can claim. Like Reese’s, Twix is great when mixed in with ice cream/Blizzards. I just realized this one had no jokes in it, but then I realized most people would say “there are jokes in this article?” and I didn’t want to open myself up to that. Whatever, Twix are awesome.
- Rolo — This may seem like a bit of a reach at first, but Rolos are deceptively delicious. Lose focus for two minutes and you’ll have eaten the whole sleeve. They’re about as simple as a candy gets — caramel wrapped in a soft chocolate shell — but the brilliance is in the simplicity here, since sometimes that’s all you want, you know? (I know you know, we totally talked about this — you just don’t remember because you were eating Rolos.) They’re such an unassuming candy — this is the shortest entry on my list for a reason — but damn do they hit the spot.
- M&Ms — M&Ms are probably the most classic candy on this list, but have you ever tried to eat more than a few handfuls of M&Ms at a given time? Trick question: the answer is obviously not, since flavor fatigue sets in very quickly with these and no one has ever attempted to eat more than a few handfuls. It’s one of the rare situations where the fun size is just about perfect. The upside for M&Ms is that they come in several more delicious varieties, most notably the peanut and peanut butter — but if that’s your goal, why not just go with Reese’s Pieces? These are the important questions.
- Junior Mints — Mint candy is not everyone’s favorite, but these are classic. They’re refreshing! They’re delicious! And unlike the Seinfeld episode that dealt with them, I’d gladly end up with one inside me after surgery — I mean, that’s where they were gonna end up anyway, what’s the difference? I guess what I’m saying is that I literally want this candy inside of me. Yeah, I SAID IT and I DON’T REGRET IT. Oh, also, unlike York patties, you can parcel out how many of these you eat.
- Butterfinger — Butterfinger is probably the most unique of the traditional candies since it tastes like…well, like a Butterfinger. There’s not much else you can really say to describe it. Even Google says that it consists of a “flaky, crisp, peanut butter-flavored center [Ed. Note: This seems like it can’t be true, right? Would anyone call the flavor of a Butterfinger anything close to “peanut buttery?” Not sure I would — JSG] covered with compound chocolate” [Ed. Note: Hey, me again — Wikipedia calls compound chocolate “a product made from a combination of cocoa, vegetable fat, and sweeteners.” Mmmm! Hungry yet?? –JSG]. So yeah…that’s a Butterfinger. That being said, Butterfingers taste better than they sound…but have fun cleaning them out from behind your teeth, which is always what happens. That’s a pain in the ass, Butterfinger. No wonder you fell so far.
- Aero — People are going to think I’m crazy for this one, and I agree this may be a bit of a reach. Aero Bars lack the pedigree and flashy stats of their contemporaries on this list, but they did really well at the combine and got a great Wonderlic score — they’re making some real noise. For those who haven’t had or heard of Aero Bars, they’re basically an aerated chocolate bar, like a Hershey bar with bubbles permeating the interior texture. The end result is a chocolate that dissolves on the tongue for an incredibly satisfying and unique candy experience — it’s like the ideological opposite of the Butterfinger bar. Aero may not be a first-round pick, but in the right system it’s Tom Brady: dependable, consistent and easy to spend most of your day fantasizing about. Err, ignore that last one.
Honorable mentions: 100 Grand, Laffy Taffy, Mamba, Whoppers
So there you have it: the definitive candy rankings. I know these rankings are going to be extremely controversial, but I stand by each and every one of them — they’re all 100% definitive and accurate. They just are. That said, I’d be more than happy to read any and all of your rankings and rationales in the comments. In the meantime, I’m gonna go get some Skittles.