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Home » Culture and Criticism

N Candy AA II: Round of 32, Flight 2

Submitted by on November 2, 2010 – 9:09 AM30 Comments

by Sarah D. Bunting

Updated bracket is here. Confused? Click here. Polls for Flight 1 close 11:59 AM ET on Thursday.

1 Skittles vs. 9 Sour Patch Kids. I have nothing to do with the newfangled tropical Skittles, but the original Skittle is a fine thing. It's the rare candy whose lime iteration isn't disgusting. Kids have their passionate followers, and I do enjoy the occasional stroll through the Sour Patch, but I'd pick Skittles over SPKs every time, and I think you-all will as well.

1 Skittles vs. 9 Sour Patch Kids

  • Skittles (71%, 620 Votes)
  • Sour Patch Kids (29%, 254 Votes)

Total Voters: 873

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12 Jujubes vs. 4 Life Savers. You can insert your own "bad Juju" jokes here; I consider Jujubes a plasticky excuse for a candy. Butter-rum Life Savers, meanwhile, are a tiny, round piece of evidence that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Besides, Jujubes only made it out of the Round of 64 because its opponent there is widely reviled. Life Savers, no problem.

12 Jujubes vs. 4 Life Savers

  • Life Savers (90%, 779 Votes)
  • Jujubes (10%, 91 Votes)

Total Voters: 870

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6 Gummi/Haribo-verse vs. 3 Reese's Pieces. Other kids' addiction-level love of Gummi Bears is one of those things, like thinking Kirk Cameron was cute, that I just never got back in the day. I understood that it was a default sort of opinion, but I didn't share it. Gummi bears taste faintly sour to me, and the clear ones in particular have a vurpy flavor whose appeal is a mystery. That appeal is also undeniable, and you've got a lot of people who love those peaches and cola-flavored worms and whatnot. I'm not going to say RPs won't have a fight on their hands, but peanut-butter-based candy is tough to beat, and won't be beaten here.

6 Gummi/Haribo-verse vs. 3 Reese's Pieces

  • Reese's Pieces (59%, 519 Votes)
  • Gummi/Haribo (41%, 357 Votes)

Total Voters: 876

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10 Jolly Ranchers vs. 2 Red Vines. The Jolly Rancher is another candy other kids in my class loved and would get into physical altercations over; I thought they were just okay. They've got my vote here for sure, though, and the following story should explain why. During a TWoP staff meeting in Vegas years ago, sitting at the front of the room while Wing is speaking, I'm feeling snacky and Djb has just busted out some Red Vines, so I accepted a Vine from his package. ["Hew." — Keckler] I've never tried one, and I love that Aimee Mann song about them, so I figure, what the hell. It's just red licorice, right?

Four chews into the thing, I realize that I have made a hew-rrendous mistake and now have only two choices. I can hock the thing into a napkin in front of the entire staff, grossing them out with my bloody Red-Vine drool…or I can force myself to swallow it, then barf on the entire staff, grossing them out with well duh. Complicating matters is the utter dearth of napkins anywhere nearby, so I wind up sploofing a mouthful of masticated Red Vine into an empty cigarette pack. ["Wow. I have absolutely no recollection of that happening. I was probably drunk." — Keckler]

And that description is about one fifteenth as revolting as Red Vines themselves. "Acquired taste," my Aunt Fanny — how does one "acquire" a taste for a bowl of dicks coated in spray adhesive and dragged across the floor of a garage? Get thee behind us, Red Vines. Just-Okay Ranchers for the win.

10 Jolly Ranchers vs. 2 Red Vines

  • Jolly Ranchers (74%, 635 Votes)
  • Red Vines (26%, 219 Votes)

Total Voters: 854

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1 Twizzlers/Nibs vs. 8 PayDay. PayDay benefited from facing the inessential Dot in the last round, but up against an opponent that isn't a colored rock, it's facing almost certain defeat. The Nib is mighty. ["Embarrassing confession time: I had a huge crush on this guy named Yuri in high school, so I really grooved on the fact that Twizzlers are made by Y&S candies because CLEARLY that meant we were 2B 2-gether 4-evah. Also, Yuri's best friend's name was Nate, which spawned endless 'YuriNate' hilarity and which, for the record, I still think is funny." — Keckler]

1 Twizzlers/Nibs vs. 8 PayDay

  • Twizzlers/Nibs (58%, 480 Votes)
  • PayDay (42%, 354 Votes)

Total Voters: 834

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5 Kraft caramels vs. 4 Swedish Fish. I dread voting in this match-up; I love them both, for very different reasons. But I love Kraft caramels more, so I'll probably vote for them — and while I think they'll win, a Scandinavian victory wouldn't surprise me. ["D'oh! I can't believe I forgot to get Kraft caramels for Halloween this year! I love those little squashy cubes of buttery perfection." — Keckler]

5 Kraft caramels vs. 4 Swedish Fish

  • Kraft caramels (61%, 525 Votes)
  • Swedish Fish (39%, 330 Votes)

Total Voters: 855

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6 Jelly Bellies vs. 3 candy corn. Tough call. I mean, not for me personally — I'll back the corn — but, while I think many people love candy corn as intensely as I do, I also think many people hate it (and when it comes to the chocolate "Indian corn," I feel that). I don't know that anyone "hates" Jelly Bellies that way, and sometimes that's what it comes down to. Could go either way. ["Did anyone else turn the corns upside-down and jam one each incisor to make vampire fangs? Just me then? Okay." — Keckler]

6 Jelly Bellies vs. 3 candy corn

  • Jelly Bellies (66%, 565 Votes)
  • candy corn (34%, 293 Votes)

Total Voters: 858

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7 fruit slices vs. 2 Starburst. AUGH! I have to side with slices, they're my favorite! But that means I can't vote for Starburst, which I also cherish, especially the strawberry ones! They fit so perfectly onto the roof of the mouth! They retain their chewiness for weeks! They're the only cherry candy I actively like, versus tolerating at best!

…I should cut the dramatics; I love fruit slices, but I doubt they survive this round, so I can just vote for Starburst next time.

7 fruit slices vs. 2 Starburst

  • Starburst (68%, 590 Votes)
  • fruit slices (32%, 274 Votes)

Total Voters: 864

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30 Comments »

  • Jenn says:

    Ug, Sour Patch Kids. I can't take anything sour. Not even those candies that start out sour and end up sweet.

  • JC says:

    I voted for Jelly Bellies. I love their myriad flavors and I love combining them using the recipes that come printed with the assorted mixes (genius touch, that). However, at our office Halloween potluck, someone brought in a big bowl containing equal amounts candy corn and salted peanuts mixed together. I took a spoonful, eyed it suspiciously, and threw the whole thing back, and I must say it was heavenly. I went in for a fistful and immediately got a wrist slap from the receptionist, but in my defense a simple tablespoon is completely inadequate for that mix – a soup ladle (hell, a snow shovel) would have been much more practical.

    I'll be humming Taps for the soon-to-be departed Sour Patch Kids and gummi-everything – they just really have no chance at all. I'm waiting breathlessly for the inevitable Reese's/Skittles showdown.

  • Leigh in CO says:

    That Red Vines story made my day. Red Vines are grody.

  • Kristina says:

    I'm going to take sour patch kids' losing out to skittles (gross and the commercials are psychosis-inducing [although I love the Scottish Koreans]) personally.

  • Erin in SLC says:

    @Kristina: If it had been Sour Patch Watermelon up against the Skittles, I'd agree wholeheartedly. Ditto the SP Fruits. For some reason, the Kids just don't measure up.

    As for candy corn…it's good for exactly two pieces. It takes one corn to appreciate the sugar, and the other to appreciate the weird waxy texture, and then it's all over for me.

  • adam807 says:

    Re: Vampire Candy Corn Fangs – nope, not just you!

  • StillAnotherKate says:

    Aw, how can my beloved Swedish Fish be losing out to Kraft caramels? I mean, they're delicious, no lie. But trying to pry that shrink-wrapped celophane off those cubes makes me crazy. OK, crazi-er.

    And my Fish? Delightfully sweet little fish? Perfect mid-day, mid-morning, mid-anything snack? I have a canister of them on my desk at all times. It makes me very popular in the office.

    Swedish Fish – you shall be gone but not forgotten.

  • Keckler says:

    I just suddenly remembered when Lifesavers came out with those fruit and cream swirled suckers. I loved those.

  • Nick says:

    @JC: Agreed on the Skittles/Reese's showdown. I'm of the opinion that that Elite Eight matchup will decide this whole shebang, although I hope my beloved Starburst will give them a run for their money.

  • Shanna says:

    Red Vines story is killing me. Awesome.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    CREME SAVERS! With the orange creamsicle flavor, which is MY JAM. And then they had a chewy version that I ate three at a time, and Couch Baron almost had to Heimlich me, like, remotely! http://tomatonation.com/culture-and-criticism/identity-crisis/

    (Hee. "Mandy Moore is stuck to your mom?")

  • sam says:

    I am mostly happy with how things are going. Except for the part where Haribo was put up against Reese's peanut somethings. That's chocolate, not candy. Haribo is the most wonderful of weaknesses.

  • KTB says:

    Wait, what? Twizzlers are better than Red Vines? In some parallel universe where plastic is edible, I suppose. I have discovered that the Red Vine fanaticism is a somewhat West Coast phenomenon; I'd never even seen a Red Vine before I moved to Oregon and they are ubiquitous out here.

    That said, Twizzlers still taste like cough syrup flavored plastic.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Guys, Google it: there is no chocolate in Reese's Pieces. Peanut butter, candy shell. No chocolate. Trust me.

  • Hannah says:

    A couple years ago I sent a coworker snerking out of a quiet office because I had a wicked Halloween sugar-high, and I started playing with candy corn and leftover frosting on my plate, then sent her an email announcing, "Don't look now…but my candy corn are beginning to walk upright…"

    Yeah, I know it's not funny, but it still makes me giggle how it sent us into uncontrollable hysterics.

  • Karen says:

    Well crap. This is the first round where I really had to sit there for a few minutes and debate. My love for gummi anything can be, at times, all-consuming. But Reese's is such a better candy.

    This is getting hard.

    Also, I'm in the candy-corn-as-fangs camp. Totally did that. Frankly, those little candies can be used in a wide variety of ways. When it comes to eating, however, I'm all about the Bellies.

  • ferretrick says:

    "how does one "acquire" a taste for a bowl of dicks coated in spray adhesive and dragged across the floor of a garage?"

    I don't know, but I bet Jeffrey Dahmer does.

    Oh come on, it was right there….

  • cayenne says:

    @Sarah D Bunting – you mean like those Campino things? Ew.

    The impending eliminations of jujubes, red vines & especially candy corn are so, so, so pleasing to me. It's amazing how invested I (we?) get in these brackets.

  • Sharon says:

    MMMM, CANDY CORN!!! Especially the "chocolate" kind. I JUST finished last year's post-Halloween 75% off stash – just in time!

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @Sharon, come over. Our whole household is eating around the chocolate corn.

  • Annie says:

    Aw, the clear gummi bears are my favorites! But I had to vote for Reese's Pieces.

  • Gretchen says:

    bag of Candy corn+ jar of peanuts = handfuls of salted nut rolls.

    Almost all of my votes were for the underdogs–love me some sour gummies!

  • Lianne says:

    The Twizzlers/Red Vines thing is something I fail to understand. I like both of them. I think they're different and tasty in their own way. But of all my friends who swear to one camp or the other, it's always to the Red Vines. But I do know it's a west coast thing.

  • K. says:

    Starburst vs. fruit slices?? Argh. I voted for fruit slices because I think you're right, Sars, that they won't win and I can vote for Starbursts later, but ARGH, they are both awesome.

    I cannot BELIEVE candy corn is losing to Jelly Bellies; the fact that butter-flavored jelly beans exist is an abomination. Fake butter in any form is foul; fake CANDY butter is a sin.

  • Lindsay says:

    I'm slightly confused because I always thought Swedish Fish were part of the Gummi family…

  • Lindsay says:

    I love that Twizzlers and Red Vines are each their own entry! None of the "it's all red licorice" nonsense, because nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I started a poll/blind taste test in my department on which was better — Twizzlers vs.Red Vines — which nearly brought the Company to a halt that day because so many people stopped work to taste/vote and stood around to see the results. Ah, the good old dotcom days…

    Side note: Twizzlers won that poll, and rightly so!

  • Jenak says:

    Fruit slices – sweet AND tangy AND squishy AND sugarcrunchy – are possibly my favorite candy ever. Starburst are edible, if there's nothing better in the sugar family. I'm sad to see the fruit slices go :(

    Alton Brown showed a homemade candy corn on his Halloween Good Eats that looked much tastier than I know the storebought to be; if I weren't so lazy, I'd make it and see.

    I think both Twizzlers and Red Vines are gross. And I love butter Jelly Bellies. Takes all kinds, I guess :)

  • Stewart says:

    Depending on where you fall on the vegetarian spectrum, gelatin can be a deal-breaker. (It's 44% pig skin! Wikipedia made that decision a lot easier for me.)

    I only mention this because I can't eat Skittles anymore, and I'm looking for some sympathy over here.

  • CaitlinM says:

    Yeah, if Reese's Pieces had chocolate, they would be worth eating. And, the clear gummi bears are my favorite flavor (as are the pineapple Life Savers in the Five Fruit, though I'm totally with you on the Butter Rum, Sars); actually, though cola bottles are best of all in the gummi world.

    @Lindsay, I agree with everything you wrote about Red Vines and Twizzlers, except which is better. Twizzlers are nasty tasting and waxy. But I'm a California kid.

    Candy corn may be the vilest thing I've ever tasted, however.

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