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