Given that trick-or-treating is a hallowed Halloween activity for kids, I thought I’d take a stroll back to my childhood and list out what made me cheer and boo when I checked out the goodies in my stash. How does my list compare to yours?
1. Baked goods (donuts, cupcakes, cookies, or Rice Krispy treats) or caramel apples — These items were the gold standard. However, by the late 60s and early 70s, urban legend paranoia about poisoned homemade treats and apples containing razor blades had invaded suburban Indiana, and some parents warned their kids not to consume anything that wasn’t pre-packaged. Properly warned, we made sure to eat those items before we got home. For some reason, I retain a memory of an exquisite, fresh hot donut given out by an older couple in the neighborhood.
2. Kit Kat bars — Kit Kats didn’t make their appearance until the early 70s, if my memory is correct, but I remember being pleased to see them in my Halloween sack!
3. Nestlé’s Crunch bars — I’m developing a theme here of chocolate with crunchy stuff.
4. Money — Yes, cold hard cash. Every once in a while, someone would give out money, usually a quarter, which back in the day was real money to a little kid.
5. Nestlé’s $100,000 bars — Add gooey stuff to the chocolate and crunch.
Honorable mentions — Peanut M&Ms, Milk Duds, Whoppers, Almond Joys, and Milky Ways were solid staples. I would develop an affinity for Reese’s peanut butter cups later in life.
I was indifferent toward Snickers bars, Mars bars, Hershey bars, and various peanut candies.
Overall, chocolate ruled the roost.
1. Anything with licorice, especially Good n’ Plenty — I just couldn’t deal with licorice as a flavor. I still feel that way!
2. Necco wafers — Bleeecccchhh!
3. Candy corn — I never understood the appeal of what tasted like pure chewy sugar.
4. Chewing gum — Serviceable, but it didn’t rock my trick-or-treat world.
5. Lollipops — Eh….though Dum Dums and Tootsie Roll pops were okay.
As you can see, I was less crazy about the super sweet stuff.