For All Hallows Eve, four Indy food writers offer up remembrances of sweets past.
The Big Orange
We ate candy corn, circus peanuts, wax lips, and ridiculously tasteless candy beads on a string. We prized the candies that already seemed from another era: Charleston Chews, Jujubes, Look Bars, and Chicken in a Biscuit. I loved FireStix, Atomic Balls (I know), and even cinnamon toothpicks. But the best Halloween candy of all is Brach’s Orange Slices. Here you have perfection of the confectioner’s arsenal. Soft and pliant to the teeth, it also gives good resistance to the chew and then, magnificently, yields crunchy granulated sugar bits. Halloween is orange, you know, and Brach’s flavor reinforced the Southern California experience in a chewy pillow of flavor. -D.J. Palladino
No plastic jack o’ lantern to hold our booty, but rather a pillowcase, king sized. Round, sugary, and sweet, reminiscent of theaters and autumn, the handmade popcorn ball came wrapped in cellophane by little old ladies. Though shocked by our burgeoning pillow cases, the ladies relinquished their jewel atop the bed of factory-made candy. Every kid pretended not to like them, but we all know better. -Noelle Aguayo
My Halloween memories are filled with handmade costumes, trick-or-treating for UNICEF, and making off with my brother’s candy after he went to sleep, leaving his pumpkin bucket unguarded. There was the obligatory chocolate and canker-producing Pixy Sticks, but there was one candy I couldn’t pass up. The color denoted something natural, but its almost pure sugar composition was so deliciously unnatural. It can’t be Halloween without the white, orange, and yellow candy corn kernels. -Jill Johnson
Chocolate. Caramel. A ruler. What else does one need to warm a 10-year-old’s heart? The Marathon Bar-eight inches of braided caramel doused in chocolate-was a rare Halloween treat, but you never knew what might be in your pillowcase and a boy can dream, no? About as rare as the Great Pumpkin, and no longer produced after 1981, this bar really did have its inches marked off on its wrapper’s back. It wasn’t just tasty, but useful. -George Yatchisin