If you want to start an argument this time of year, you don’t need to mention a hot-button political topic or a controversial presidential candidate. Just ask about Halloween candy.
Everyone has a favorite — and some that they loathe.
A 2011 survey by the Huffington Post website found that KitKat, Twix, Butterfinger, Snickers and Starbursts were among America’s favorites, with Smarties, candy corn, Dots and raisins among the most hated.
Although my daughters are past the age of trick-or-treating, I assessed a “dad tax” on their Halloween haul. I got my share of my favorites, the Snickers and the Twixes. I gorged immediately on the crunchy cookies and stashed the chocolate bars in secret recesses of the freezer, to be eaten later.
Truth be told, I adore the autumn mixes of candy corn and Mellowcreme pumpkins, especially from Brach’s. Fall is when they are most fresh — soft and sickly sweet.
Many people detest candy corn, in all its incarnations. Licorice, Tootsie Rolls and Good & Plenty get their share of jeers, too.
In response to requests this week on social media, Bellinghamsters are a lot like the rest of the U.S., preferring Snickers, KitKats, Reese’s and Butterfingers.
But a few zombies lurk among us.
Nichole Nathan of Sudden Valley kicks it old school. She longs for Chick-O-Stick, made for more than 60 years by the Atkinson Candy Co. of Lufkin, Texas.
“A little bit of peanut butter, a little bit of crunch,” Nathan said. “It’s like eating just the inside of the Butterfinger ... only better.”
According to atkinsoncandy.com, you can find their products at 7-Elevens in Washington. Otherwise, go online.
Jessie Borrell of Sudden Valley has always loved Butterfingers.
“When I was a kid, I would separate them out from the rest of my haul of candy and make a point to eat them,” she said. “My dad’s favorite is also Butterfingers, so I had to hide them from him. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are a close second.”
Find recipes that incorporate the candy — including brownies and cupcakes — at butterfinger.com.
Such home-made confections as Butterfinger Brownies would please Mickey M. Petrie of Sudden Valley, who has fond memories of a time when “we didn’t fear others putting harm into their baked goods.”
“ Snickers were always the best candy to get,” said Edgar Smith of Bellingham. “They were the jackpot of trick-or-treat candies for me as a kid. That’s why I give ’em out now that I’m on the other side of the door.”
Greg Bays of Bellingham also enjoys the “fun size” Snickers. “My mom gave out nickels or toothbrushes, so I was always grateful for the houses in the neighborhood that gave the good candy out to the ‘nickel’ orphans. To this day, I still believe she would sneak in and take a piece of real candy after we fell asleep,” he said.
Bethany Devine, who grew up in Custer but now lives in Anacortes, said Snickers seal the deal. “Best ‘trade value’ when my brother and I would trade candy. Also Hershey’s — my dad used to love sneaking them from us.”
“Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, because my son didn’t like them and he would trade for pretty much anything else,” said Patti Rowlson of Bellingham.