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Top 5 Carnival Candies

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Carnival Candy Booth

To heck with Christmas – summer is definitely the most wonderful time of the year. You’ve got warmth and sunshine, barbecues, beers on the patio, and outdoor sports. And in my home town of Edmonton, Alberta, summertime is Capital Ex time. That’s our local midway, recently re-branded from Klondike Days. (Considering that our claim to the old name was basically “During the gold rush, some guys stopped here for a beer on their way to the Yukon,” I figure the change was long overdue.) But whatever the name, the big draws remain the same: rides, midway games, and, of course, delicious, delicious carnival food. So on a recent Saturday, I braved the crowds at the Ex in an attempt to determine the top five carnival candies. (The things I do for you readers! Wink, wink.) The results were as follows:

5. Caramel corn

Caramel Corn

Caramel corn is one of those treats whose very status as a candy is open to debate. Though largely made up of popcorn, usually considered a snack food, the glossy caramel exterior is all candy and completely counteracts whatever small amount of nutrition may come out of the popcorn kernels. It’s usually sold prepackaged, so the carnival booths don’t even have to pretend they made it fresh like they do with regular popcorn. Caramel corn is certainly tasty (provided the little bags haven’t been sitting in the sun for so long that they’ve gone as stale as old circus peanuts). But let’s face it – as a carnival candy, caramel corn isn’t all that exciting. No one goes out of their way to buy caramel corn at a carnival when there are so many other interesting things you can’t get anywhere else.

4. Fudge


Let’s face it – pretty much everyone loves fudge. It’s soft, it’s sweet, and it comes in enough flavor varieties to stun even the most jaded of carnival-goers. However, as a carnival candy, fudge gets a low score because of its impracticality. The typical carnival-sized slab of fudge is way too big for most people to eat in any way other than a nibble at a time. This means you’re going to be carrying a huge mass of soft, melty chocolate candy around in the hot summer sun for with only a thin layer of plastic wrap to protect the inside of your pocket or bag. Because there’s nothing like sticking your hand into your pocket for a couple of ride tickets and coming out with a brown, gooey mess.

3. Candy apples

Candy Apples

Fruit? As candy? Like caramel corn, it’s not what’s on the inside, but what’s on the outside that counts. The apple inside the candy apple may be old and mealy from sitting in the sun all day, but no one really minds – that shiny, glossy candy or caramel exterior will draw ‘em in every time. Increasingly, candy apples are also being coated in all kinds of interesting extras: M&Ms, crushed Oreos, gummi bears, and more. (I wouldn’t count on them to help you keep the doctor away, though.) The stick keeps all of that sticky candy away from your hands at a place where sinks are likely few and far between, because sticky hands could really throw off your chances of knocking over enough milk cartons to win your girlfriend a giant stuffed walrus.

2. Cotton candy

Cotton Candy

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What’s a carnival without a big wad of pink fluff (or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, blue fluff) turning slowly to sugar syrup on your tongue? It’s nothing, that’s what it is. If you’re really lucky, your carnival will have cotton candy on a stick, swizzled up fresh from a cotton candy machine in fresh, light, ethereal wisps by a carnie with little sugar burn scars all up his arms. If not, you’ll have to settle for the stuff in bags hanging from the roof of the concession stand – probably made in a factory somewhere, crammed into those plastic bags and hauled around from carnival to carnival until it has compressed to the texture of fiberglass insulation. Don’t worry, though – even old cotton candy is still darn good stuff. And because it’s mostly air, it’s actually one of the healthier of your carnival food options – you can down it by the fistful and probably not even get a fifth of the calories and fat in our number one best carnival candy.

1. Deep fried chocolate bars

Snickers Case

What do you get when you combine the artery-clogging goodness of deep-fried carnival favorites like funnel cake and mini donuts with the gooey sweetness of Mars, Snickers, or Milky Way bars? Why, a dough-covered, deep-fried chocolate bar, of course! (Come on, this isn’t rocket science, people.) In all probability, the deep-fried chocolate bar originated in Scotland, the nation that has also brought us the deep-fried pizza and the deep-fried Oreo. Like a particularly greasy carnie working his way across America, the deep-fried chocolate bar has worked its way across the Atlantic – and into our hearts (by way of our arteries). Alas, I did not have the opportunity to taste a deep-fried chocolate bar at the Ex this year, but our writers have already written extensively on deep fried candy. For the sheer audacity of its very premise, its utter lack of any kind of nutritional value, and its almost total unavailability at any time except carnival time, I declare the deep-fried chocolate bar to be the number one greatest carnival candy of all time

So, what would you put on the list? Leave a comment and let us know!

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5 Responses to “Top 5 Carnival Candies”

  1. 1
    Sea Hag says:

    It is my ultimate goal in life to try a deep-fried candy bar. Unfortunately the carnivals around here are totally sketchy so there’s no way I’d ever eat anything there.

  2. 2
    Mrs.Sound says:

    Yeah I agree with you I love the summer heat. You could eat lots and lots of ice creams.

  3. 3
    Deb says:

    Totally agree with you on deep fried candy bars. I have tried deep fried Milky Way, and I don’t think there is a guiltier pleasure out there.

  4. 4
    Jess says:

    Definitely have never tried a deep-fried candy bar, but it sounds delicious.
    Perhaps added to the list: a deep-fried Oreo?

  5. 5
    Leigha says:

    Yeah soung good! my cousin, bro and I used to make oreo lollipops…..not really like oreos though…

    You should try it!

    we would take the cotton off of cotton swabs (you can use toothpicks if you want). Then we would take the white stuff out of the oreos, roll them into balls then stick them on the cotton swap without cotton. Then we would dip them in chocolate syrup so they would be fully covered. Then we dipped them in sprinkles. We would then lay them out on a plate and put it in the freezer for… long as we felt to………lol…Brian would like it. He should try it

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