The Land of the Misfit Candies

Necco Wafers, Circus Peanuts, Sno-Caps, Bit o’ Honey, Chunky - who eats this stuff?


Whenever I walk through one of the big box pharmacies, I always meander through the candy section.


Cuz I’m the Candy Ninja. Doy.

Anyway, what nearly always strikes me when I pass through those sections are: 1. Charleston Chews are freakin’ amazing and, 2. there are some candies that have been around forever, but I never know who would actually buy them.

To wit, consider the following, which I shall heretofore call the Land of Misfit Candies:

Necco Wafers - Hey, wanna know what Necco Wafers are? Thinly sliced chalk. Quick, name someone you know who eats Necco Wafers. You can’t. So how is it that they are still for sale? Well, as one Granby resident put it, she loves Necco Wafers because they are the only candy that her children won’t eat, so she gets them all to herself. That, my friends, is not a ringing endorsement. That’s an exception that proves the rule that Necco Wafers are awful.

Circus Peanuts - OK, prior to this past Saturday, I had never tried a Circus Peanut. And for good reason. They’re like the cast members from  “Jersey Shore”: big, orange, gross and you don’t know what’s in them.

Anyhoo, while covering a fundraiser in South Windsor, I happened upon a candy dish filled with Circus Peanuts. A certain South Windsor resident who shall remain unnamed - let’s call her Soo Jaxon - proclaimed her undying love for Circus Peanuts when I said how gross they looked. She insisted that they were good and proceeded to send no fewer than 854 South Windsor residents over to me to pledge their allegiance to the orange goop that had the consistency of asbestos.

It’s evidently the official candy of South Windsor. My apologies if I have offended my town, but there is no good reason to ever eat a Circus Peanut. My guess is that if you consume enough, you get some type of psychotropic effect. “I just Circused, man! Look at the colors, man!”

Sno-Caps - I feel bad for these guys getting lumped in with the rest of the Land of the Misfit Candies. Thing is that, even though they taste good, they’re covered in little white dots that I have been informed are ‘nonpareils.’

First, I don’t know what the what a nonpareil is. Worse, I don’t know how to pronounce it. So, much like nobody wanted a “Charlie in the Box” in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, nobody wants a “Nonpareil in the Box.”

Bit o’ Honey - This and tetanus give you lockjaw. Kids, we’re in the year 2012. Chemicals have evolved to the point where we can get soft Milk Duds. Bit o’ Honey needs to catch up with the times.

Chunky - So much wrong with this one. First, it’s a full-size candy bar condensed into too small an area, hence the name Chunky. What’s more, it has raisins in it. Guys. Look. If you have fruit in your candy, it ain’t candy. It’s candy-like. But it’s not candy. Because candy isn’t any good for you. And raisins are. Quod erat demonstrandum, Chunky borders on not being candy.

Allow me to restate this bluntly: ain’t no room for fruit in candy.

Root Beer Barrels/Bottle Caps - Another group of candies that I can’t find a single person who will step up and admit that they like. If you enjoy any of these awful creations, go to the doctor, as you either a. don't have tastebuds; or b. you've got serious issues otherwise unspecified (at least according to the DSM IV).

Chuck Housner October 02, 2012 at 11:03 AM
Great article. I think the only people buying Necco Wafers are using them to shingle gingerbread houses. My personal addition to the list is "Good and Plenty". Yuck. They seems harmless with those pink and white candy shells, until you bite into them. I think they were designed as a cruel joke for unsuspecting children.
Maria October 02, 2012 at 02:46 PM
This is hilarious! I am a retro candy lover....actually, I am a candy love period! I love all of these candies except Necco Wafers.....Wish I could find a good supplier of Pop Rocks....Oh and Chuck... I LOVE Good and Plenty! Mike and Ike's are pretty amazing too.
Jean Robinson October 02, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Hey, I ate ALL of those when I was a kid! And I still have my own teeth. Back in the 1950s candies were sold in 5 cent boxes or wrappers. A quarter went a long way. The ingredients were readable. Nowadays, reformulated candy is sold in bite-sized pieces packaged in 3+ pound bags by big box stores. Traditional American brands are no longer manufactured in the US. Have you looked at a candy bag or wrapper lately to see where it comes from and what is in it? Whenever your favorite candy or cookie disappears from the store shelves for a while, and then comes back--BEWARE. It is never the same and will never taste as good as you remember. It is more than likely that the brand name was sold to another manufacturer. Now, where did I put the Good-N-Plenty???
Kathlene Stick October 02, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Very interesting :)


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