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What’s the most popular Christmas candy in each state?

Halloween has come and gone, but with Christmas right around the corner, we’re still living in the season of sweets. This month of the year we’re more about chocolate Santas than Snickers and candy canes than candy corns, but preferences vary from state to state. Online retailer Candystore.com recently asked 30,000 of its customers to vote for their favorite Christmas candy in order to see how America’s sweet too varies state to state. And the results show that where you live definitely plays a part in your Christmas candy tastes and traditions. Source: CandyStore.com. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups gets love from 10 different states, but others are all about Christmas exclusive candies like peppermint bark and chocolate Santas. Eight states pick candy canes as their favorite Christmas candy. Six chose holiday-colored M&Ms, and five preferred red, green, and white “reindeer corn” — the holiday version of candy corn. PEZ was…

What, exactly, are sugar plums?

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ by Clement Clarke Moore paints a peaceful Christmas Eve scene, with new-fallen snow, carefully hung stockings, and visions of sugar plums. And you’ve probably heard of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from “The Nutcracker.”  But have you ever stopped to ask what, exactly, is a sugar plum? While the recipe for sugar plums has varied, what they’re not, and never were, is sugar-coated plums. The truth is that sugar plums are not linked to fruit or any plum-like substance. According to the Oxford English Dictionary of the day, a sugar plum is a comfit. Comfits are seeds, nuts, or piece of spice coated with a hard sugar shell — not unlike the outer crunchy shell of an M&M or Jordan almond. The first sugar plums date back to the 1600s when popular centers for comfits would have included caraway, fennel, coriander, almonds, walnuts, ginger,…

Six ingredients commonly found in gum, soda, candy banned by the FDA

Just in time to squash your Halloween fun, the Food and Drug Administration has nixed six synthetic flavorings commonly found in candy, soda, baked goods, booze, and gum. The ingredients in question have all been shown to directly contribute to cancer in animals. They included synthetically-derived benzophenone (also used in rubber reusable food containers), ethyl acrylate, eugenic methyl ether (methyl eugenol), myrcene, pulegone, and pyridine. Even if you’re an avid label checker, these names probably don’t look familiar to you. Since they fall under the umbrella of proprietary “artificial flavors,” the manufacturers don’t have to print them in the ingredients list, according the FDA. The additives are known to contribute floral, cinnamon, mint, citrus, mango, pineapple, garlic, roasted onion, and woody flavors, according to a petition.  The ingredients were proven to cause cancer in laboratory animals by the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ National Toxicology Program. But no…

Tips for storing your Halloween candy so it will last longer

The end of October typically means way too much candy — even for those with the most insatiable sweet tooth. Whether you have kids bringing home big bags of candy, or you overestimated how much you needed for trick-or-treating, chances are, you’re going to need to store some for later. If you want to enjoy your candy haul slowly, it’s vital you know how to properly store your candies. If not, you could end up with a melty mess or scary flavors later on. Candy bars are very high in sugar and low in moisture — a combination that inhibits bacterial growth. This keeps them naturally edible for really long periods of time, but you can extend their shelf-life even further with a little care. Here are some tips from the National Confectioners Association that will leave your candy tasting fresh, long after your jack-o-lantern has gone dark. Candy Storage in…

The sweet history of Candy Corn

Every October, when the weather cools, we recognize that it’s time to start arguing about candy corn. But whether you think the little tri-colored candies are delicious or disgusting, no other candy is more iconic of Halloween. The history of candy corn and its place as a part of Halloween dates back more than a century ago. Though nobody knows for sure, candy corn is said to have been invented in Philadelphia by George Renninger, a candymaker for the Wunderle Candy Company. In 1898, George’s recipe rose to nationwide popularity when the Goelitz Confectionary Company picked it up and started marketing it as “Chicken Feed.” The candy packages pictured a rooster and a tag line that read, “Something worth crowing for.” The initial marketing was intended to appeal to Americans’ agricultural roots, and it was touted as a year-round treat. The Goelitz company, now known as Jelly Belly Candy Co., has the…

This is what a teal pumpkin means

If your kid has food allergies, trick-or-treating can be a seriously scary evening out. Many kids are unable to eat items like milk, peanuts, eggs, and soy — ingredients found in many popular Halloween candies. But the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) group is raising awareness and making Halloween fun again for kids who may have had to previously sit this holiday out. The Teal Pumpkin Project launched in 2014, is designed to encourage inclusiveness on Halloween by making it easy for kids and their families to spot the houses offering allergy-friendly treats. Because of the vast array of allergies, participating houses may even opt to have “non-food treats” such as small toys, books, stickers or crayons. Participating houses are instructed to paint a pumpkin the color teal and put it on their porch or stoop in an obvious location. This way, parents will know that house is safe…

This is the most popular Halloween candy in every state

It’s officially fall and that means Halloween fun is right around the corner. Of course, for most of us, that means filling up on loads of sweet treats. But where you live might depend a lot on which candies you prefer. Americans are expected to gobble up $2.6 billion on trick-or-treat candy, according to the National Retail Federation — slightly less than 2017’s $2.7 total. Still, if we’re going to spend that kind of money on chocolates and goodies, we might as well spend it on the sweet stuff people actually want. Across the country, Skittles, M&M’s, and Snicks take the top three spots respectively. Reese’s Cups, Starburst, Candy Corn, Hot Tamales, Hershey’s, Tootsie Pops, and Jolly Ranchers round out the top 10. Online retailer Candystore.com compiled data from the past 11 years to show which candies are most popular in each state: Source: CandyStore.com. Alabama – Candy Corn Alaska…

Kit Kats, Reese’s, Hershey’s get a glow in the dark makeover for Halloween 2018

No tricks here. This Halloween you have the option to hand out glow in the dark treats. Reese’s, Kit Kat, and Hershey’s have upped the fun factor for trick-or-treaters this year. Wrappers of the three iconic chocolates are getting a make-over for the holiday season. Snack-sized versions of the trio will now come in limited edition glow in the dark wrappers in 9.35-ounce packages (about $2.99 each). Hosts passing out the candy should switch out their porch light with a black light bulb to best view the boo-tiful candies. Placing small black lights in or around the bowl will also achieve the glow effect. Each brand is also launching new festive foils for their miniature size snacks. Reese’s will don ghost and skulls, Kit Kats will be dressed as ghosts, skeletons, and sheriffs, and Hershey’s Kisses will sport mini ghosts, spiders, and bats. Whether you’re handing out candy this year,…

You would never guess this country consumes the most candy

Americans love candy. We have several holidays where we put the sweet stuff at the center of the celebration — Halloween candy, Easter baskets, candy-filled advent calendars and candy canes. We even have amusement parks dedicated to it. You’d be forgiven for assuming Americans eat more candy than any other country — but you’d also be wrong. There is one country that beats out the U.S. in candy consumption: Sweden. A recent study conducted by Jordbruksverket, the Swedish Board of Agriculture, found that Sweden has the highest candy consumption per capita in the world. Citizens consume on average 35 pounds of it every year. Doing the math … that’s about a half pound every. single. week. The sugar consumption is about three times more than what the World Health Organization recommends. Candy culture in Sweden is strong. “Lördagsgodis” is a Swedish word that literally means “Saturday candy.” The thinking went that…

Reese’s offering $10K, free candy to its most ‘Outrageous’ fan

Do you love peanut butter and chocolate? We mean, really love it? To celebrate the launch of its new Reese’s Outrageous bar, the company is giving away $10,000 and a year’s supply of candy to one true fan. The Outrageous bar is similar to the Nutrageous bar, but it swaps out the peanuts with bits of tiny Reese’s Pieces. Food & Wine had the chance for an early taste test last year, and this is how they described it: “The core of the bar is Reese’s classic, salty peanut butter with a layer of caramel surrounding it. That’s all enrobed by chocolate dotted with dozens of mini Reese’s Pieces. The candy shells of the Pieces add an extra crunch without making the whole thing too crumbly. Perhaps most surprisingly, the Outrageous! bar is not all that sweet. It’s definitely a peanut butter lover’s candy.” To enter the contest, fans can post photos and…