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THE WORST CANDY OF ALL TIME

 

CHOWARD'S SCENTED VIOLET GUM

Some artsy girl once gave me a taste of this in high school. It's not bad, if you like gum that tastes like it's been soaked in cologne for a month.

 

BUBBLE FUDGE

This came out for a brief time in the '80s, but the awful taste still haunts me. These were Bubble-Yum sized cubes of fudge flavored gum. I don't know why the idea of blowing chocolate bubbles freaks me out, but it probably has something to do with those scat films my neighbor accidentally taped over our copy of ET when we lent it to them. Even grosser is the ill-fated "Bubble Fudge With Corn" gum that failed to sell well in the '90s.

 

 

 

IDAHO SPUDS

What should a chocolate marshmallow filled treat that looks like a potato taste like, anyway? They have a taste that I can only describe as "funky". Every 7 years or so I come across one (or more recently a podcast listener sent me one as a "thank you") and I think that my previous bad experiences were simply a result of an underdeveloped tongue. However they seem to taste worse every time I try them. Hopefully I'll remember to read this article before the next time I'm blinded by retarded sugar lust. Some people really love these and they have quite a cult following. Of course, cults eat and drink some weird stuff, so what to they know?

 

 

DUBBLE BUBBLE

This stuff is hella hard and by the time you chew the hard pink rock enough to make it soft enough to actually blow a bubble with, the flavor is gone. Seriously, this gum loses flavor dubble quickly. I do give them points, however, for trying to compete with Bazooka Joe by having their own comic strips on the wrapper, with an unintentionally funny named character, "Pud". In 2008, Dubble Bubble will be 80 years old. It sure tastes that way.

 

SWEDISH FISH

These aren't so awful as they're just bland. Introduced in 1970, Swedish Fish will forever be the bitch of the superior in every way Gummi Bears, which Haribo first made in 1922 and they're still one of the tastiest candies ever invented. Though Carl Huber, from the very fun to read blog "the WAREHOUSE" disagrees...

 

 

"They're soft, they're sweet, and you can spend hours, days, weeks eating handful after handful of these things. They probably have some crazy addictive additive (hah) in them. They're not as sticky and chewy as traditional gummy bears, which is fantastic. Softer, more forgiving...they're like chewing on a hug. GRADE: A"

 

TOOTSIE ROLLS

I always hate things that are marketed as "chocolaty" tasting, because that's just food lingo for "fake chocolate". Does anyone ever actually buy Tootsie Rolls on purpose? The only time we ever had them is when all of our other Halloween candy ran out.

 

 

FRESH PEEPS

Don't get me wrong, under the right circumstances, Peeps can be one of the greatest tasting treats ever created, but only when you leave the package open for two weeks and they're super stale. If you eat them fresh out of the package, they're just too gooey and squishy to enjoy properly. If the fine folks down at the Just Born factory would only market a version that shipped stale, they'd have a customer for life. I thought I was the only person with this guilty pleasure, until I found a friend who buys them and makes them stale for her husband. I met her in the waiting room of my diabetes clinic.

 

 

MILK CHOCOLATE

I'm sorry, but once you have dark chocolate there's no going back.

 

 

 

BOSTON BAKED BEANS

Apparently in Boston, baked beans taste like shitty peanuts dipped in a sickeningly sweet candy shell. Also as terrible are those awful Burnt Peanuts you usually only see for sale at backwoods convenience stores. But what do I know, I like eating real baked beans cold out of a can. I surely can't be the only one in the world like that, right? RIGHT?


ALL BANANA FLAVORED CANDY

I don't know what flavor "banana flavor" is, but I have yet to taste anything besides bananas that actually tastes like bananas.

 

 

SPICE DROPS

These are a great tasting candy, if you like gum drops that have been marinating in Listerine.

 

CIRCUS PEANUTS

Circus Peanuts are the Mock Apple Pie of the candy world. If you like chewing on those foam ear plugs you get at concerts, these might be a good candy for you. The texture is horrible and the taste is equally funky. Though you have to give a bit of props to them, since the great cereal Lucky Charms were supposedly inspired by a guy who liked to shave off pieces of circus peanuts into his bowl. Man, that sounds like some crazy euphemism! They even inspired a band to get one of the coolest names ever, Shitty Candy and the Circus Peanuts.

 

JUJUBES

This is one of those candies that you could seemingly only find at movie theaters. Apparently the recipe has changed in recent years, and I've been unable to taste the modern Jujubes, but the ones I grew up with were hard nasty little filling removers that could give you temporary lockjaw if you bit down on them. The taste was pretty "blah" as well, akin to fruity air fresheners sprayed on tiny bits of Lego.

 

 

BB BATS

But while Peeps may be damn fine when they're stale, these not too common but utterly horrible tasting mini taffy pops are nearly impossible to find fresh. You generally run across these at little league snack bars in the bad parts of town. They crack apart in your mouth like sun-baked plastic.

 

ALL MEXICAN CANDY

Immigrants from Mexico cite this stuff as the number one reason to come to America. It's like an evil scientist decided to invent candy with the worst ingredients possible. Dried watermelon rinds with red pepper and "savory" tamarind sauce? Count me in! Whenever I see this stuff for sale at Mexican stores and flea market booths, it always has that really old look, as if someone just found a vintage box of candy and decided to sell it. Can you imagine growing up in a country where "Salty Plum Nuggets" was the tastiest treat you had to look forward to? That's my college nickname, not a candy! Seriously, this stuff is candy The Grinch would eat. The fine folks at BAD-CANDY.com have a nice collection of Mexican candy reviews for your viewing pleasure.

 

 

 

CANDY HEARTS
These taste great if you like chalk with perfume sprayed on them.

 

BASEBALL CARD GUM

Kids these days don't know the "pleasure" of buying trading cards of any type with gum inside. Not limited to baseball cards, nearly ever pre 1988 set of trading cards, from Baseball to Bo Derek had these near inedible sticks of gum in every pack. The stuff was so dry it would often just crumble apart into your mouth. You'd need at least 4 pieces to get a decent mouthful, and it had the most bizarre consistency of any gum you'd ever chewed. Closer to that crazy Razzles stuff that would start out as a candy and sort of turn to gum. I'm convinced half of the ingredients of baseball card gum was recycled baseball cards.

 

RUNTS

I'm convinced that Runts are just made by some evil cabal of dentists who want to ensure a steady supply of people with broken teeth. I swear these things are made out of Formica. You can pretty much find only find this candy in old vending machines at mom and pop grocery stores.

 

 

CHRISTMAS HARD CANDY

This stuff actually isn't so bad the first day or so after you open the package before your grandma would put it into a glass jar "because it looks so pretty just like your grandfather did when he met me". A week in that jar would turn the entire batch into a single stuck together mass that made it impossible to retrieve a piece from without the aid of a hammer and chisel.

 

HOREHOUNDS

When my dad brought home some of these when I was a kid, I thought they were some sort of awful joke, like Onion Gum. The name is at least funny to say out loud, but that's about the only redeeming quality of this bitter nasty hard candy drop that tastes like the concentrated Jagermeister diarrhea squirts from a frat boy with ass cancer.

 

So did I leave out your own choice for worst candy? Or did I insult your love of circus peanuts to the point where you'll never read retroCRUSH again? Let me know! I've already had a lot of people lobby for the inclusion of candy corn, but damn if I don't love that crazy stuff.

 

-Robert Berry
rberry@retrocrush.com