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Top 10 Love ‘em or Hate ‘em Candies

Categories: Candy,Top 10 Lists


Love Hate Baby Knuckles
If there’s one thing I’ve learned since joining the Candy Addict staff it’s… well… it’s that any man, regardless of age, build, or boxer short selection is sexy in a tub full of jelly beans. But also that candy, despite its sweet nature, can be a very divisive subject. Sure, it’s hard to quibble over a Milky Way or gummi bear, but there are definitely a subset of treats capable of launching many an impassioned… shall we say… discussion. A discussion I bravely had with our esteemed writing staff and also a few well-respected friends in order to bring you (that’s right – you) our Top 10 Love ‘em or Hate ‘em Candies.

10. SALT WATER TAFFYSalt Water Taffy Pile
Love: It’s sooooo summer in America. You can’t go to a beach town or amusement park and NOT eat it. Plus, it’s so darn pretty, with its myriad colors, dots, and swirls.

Hate: It’s always so tempting with its endless flavors, but inevitably disappoints – they all taste the same! And then it adds the extra gut-punch of pulling out your teeth.


Conversation Hearts Pile

Love: Distinct flavors, plus you have to love a candy that encourages kids to read.

Hate: Too chalky. One too many and you’re throwing up rainbows for the rest of the day.

Sweet Finnish Licorice

Love: It can be sweet, and it’s an interesting flavor that brings more to your experience than just sugar. Plus, it’s good for your… ummm… digestion, we’re told.

Hate: “It’s not really sweet or salty or sour or anything describable by human beings. It just makes my tongue go all numb and then I can’t taste anything else for awhile.”

Chocolate Bar Stack

Love: It’s rich with lovely overtones and complexities, though it might be an acquired taste.

Hate: Overprocessed dark chocolate is usually too waxy or bitter.

“Blech. I like my chocolate creamy and sweet, not bitter and strong.”


Hot Tamales Box

Love: What can I say, some people just love cinnamon flavored candy. Cinnamon Flavored Fire Twizzlers have even been named Awesomely Addictive by our very own candy cult leader.

Hate: “I never taste spice when I enjoy real cinnamon and never understood why cinnamon candy doesn’t taste like a snickerdoodle.”

“The overwhelmingly fake cinnamon flavor doesn’t do much for me – and why are hot candies always cinnamon? Real cinnamon is not hot at all.”

5. CADBURY CREME EGGSCadbury Creme Egg Wrapped and Broken
Love: “I love to bite a small hole into it and suck all the sugary goodness out. Mmmmm.”

Hate: Why would you want to eat a candy that replicates a chicken fetus when you can eat a fully-formed marshmallow version?

“Way waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too sweet. They actually make my teeth hurt.”

Circus Peanuts

Love: “I’ve always loved the texture, from chewy to melty within a few seconds.”

Hate: “First, the texture and shape are reminiscent of styrofoam package filler. And are they supposed to have an orange flavor? Because they just taste like chemicals to me.”

“These things are just wrong on every level and were invented by parents to try to get their kids to stop eating candy.”

Marshmallow Peeps UnwrappedLove: “I love the versatility – if you don’t want to eat them, stage scenes with them! Or, if you don’t like them fresh, eat them stale. Microwave them, freeze them, behead them, there are so many different ways to experience their sugary goodness.”

“They are so cute and lovable and squishy. I mean, what’s not to love? I love the crunchy exterior sugar coating and the soft, pillowy center.”

Hate: These have been bastardized by Just Born – whored out to every candy-worthy holiday and almost-holiday in America – thus obliterating their once-a-year appeal.

Jelly Belly Buttered Popcorn Bean
Love: They’re kind of a nice blend of salty and sweet and, despite an overwhelming majority of haters amongst the Candy Addict staff, they’re Jelly Belly’s number one selling flavor, if you can believe that.

Hate: “I hate these. HATE. They should be thrown in with Bertie Botts, with the rest of the disgusting flavors.”

“The flavor makes me want to be sick.”


Candy Corn En Masse

Love: “Good memories of Halloween of yore; I like biting them into the three separate colors and eating them separately – the white is a little bit crumbly, the others are softer.”

Hate: “Candy corn is the bane of my existence. The best way I can describe candy corn is to have Lewis Black describe it for me:”

“The worst thing about Halloween is, of course, candy corn. It’s unbelievable to me. Candy corn is the only candy in the history of America that’s never been advertised. And there’s a reason. All of the candy corn that was ever made was made in 1911. And so, since nobody eats that stuff, every year there’s a ton of it left over. And the candy corn company sends the guys to the villages and they collect out of the dumpsters all the candy corn we’ve thrown away. They wash it!! They wash it!

I’ll never forget the first time my mother gave me candy corn. She said, “Here – Lewis, this is candy corn. It’s corn that tastes like candy”. [high pitched sound] This tastes like crap! And every year since then, Halloween has returned and I, like an Alzhiemer’s patient, find myself in the room, and the room has a big table in it, and on the table is a bowl of candy corn. And I look at it as if I’ve never seen it before. “Candy corn”, I think. “Corn that tastes like candy. I can’t wait.” Son of a b****!”

So I guess that about says it all. Thanks for all the great insight, Addicts! What do you think, readers? Which side do you fall on? What did we miss?

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51 Responses to “Top 10 Love ‘em or Hate ‘em Candies”

  1. 1
    Jim says:


    Thanks for taking on the “brave discussion”. Man, I’ve had close encounters with EVERY ONE of these top ten items.

    I shudder (visibly, I mean people can see it from across the room) at the thought of Circus Peanuts. Ghaack. I was a naive first-grader when I downed an entire bag one afternoon while parked on the floor watching cartoons at my grandparents’ house. I puked noxious orange slop that entire night: “Mommy, make it STOP!”

    Evil, evil candy, I love you.

    Well done.

  2. 2
    Robert B. says:

    Somebody has to love them for them to last as long as they have….

    I used to hate clear gummi bears, but I have accepted them into my fold now.

  3. 3
    Aaron says:

    Very good post, although with Peeps I can take ‘em or leave ‘em…same for Circus Peanuts and Candy Corns, but…
    Salt Water Taffy…yuck!
    Dark Chocolate…yum!
    Black Licorice\Jelly Beans…oh yeah!

    Maybe worst of all, you should only get the sensation of buttered popcorn when you are eating popcorn! Those things put the Y in Yuck!

  4. 4
    Laura says:

    Apparently, there is no candy that I do not like! While only a few reach “Love” status – Candy Corn and Cadbury Creme eggs – I wouldn’t turn down any of the candies on this list. I guess that makes me a true candy addict!!

  5. 5
    Brandon says:

    Howdy all,

    Buttered Popcorn Jelly-Bellys have always tasted like earwaxto me. Or at least what one would assume earwax tastes like…


    Maybe they should make a “Belly Button” flavored Jelly bean.

  6. 6
    Debby says:

    Definitely agree! Of those, I hate all but dark chocolate and salt water taffy…

    I love dark chocolate. I like salt water taffy.

  7. 7
    Karen says:

    I’m surprised the words “bike tire” didn’t come up in the black licorice hate section.

  8. 8
    Garett says:

    Two vomit-inducing words: Mary. Janes.

    On the other hand, come on…who doesn’t love Peeps?

  9. 9
    laura says:

    i’m surprised coconut didn’t make the list. mounds and almond joys are pretty divisive i’d say.

  10. 10
    Sass says:

    Who can hate dark chocolate??!! it´s the best thing on earth!

    Circus peanuts… ehh, I never get what those were… marshmellows? soft candy??but after a while they´re not so bad… I don´t think I hate any candy, not even Twizzlers.

  11. 11
    Kevin says:

    Um… hello?

    NECCO-WAFERS anyone?

  12. 12
    deckard says:

    Get a hold of some finnish salmiakki. Now there’s a candy

  13. 13
    William B says:

    When someone tells me that they love chocolate but hate dark chocolate I secretly hate them. Just kidding, but I do consider dark chocolate to be in the same class of sophistication as wine. So if you don’t like it you a bumpkin. Sorry, but you are LOL It’s okay though, I do love Cadbury Eggs, I know…way too sweet and just what is that stuff in the middle? So good though.
    But for Hot Tamales and “real” cinnamon. Real cinnamon is actually very rare, and not good from what I hear. But what we consider real “cinnamon” several plants are called that depending on its origin. The flavor comes from an essential oil which gives the leaf its flavor and is VERY hot. So hot it could kill you. Many cinnamon candies actually do contain cinnamon, ns about HT, but it is hot.

  14. 14
    Gracie says:

    It is only September and I have eaten 3 bags of candy corn already. I have a seriously sick addiction this time of year. I especially like the harvest mix with the chocolate bats and yellow husks of corn.

  15. 15
    OMFGNinja says:

    What about Necco Waffers??

  16. 16
    amy says:

    um…i think necco wafers and candy hearts are the same candy. different shape.

  17. 17
    Tracy says:

    I’ve never been a huge fan of most cinnamon candy (too hot) or most coconut candies (too sweet and…stringy). And just about every candy out there can be improved by the addition of high quality dark chocolate.

    And William B, let’s not be badmouthing true cinnamon. It’s not as intense, but that doesn’t make it an inferior product. Although, to your point, I know most people in the U.S. are more used to cassia for “cinnamon” taste than true cinnamon. They’re all from the same family though, with the bark containing that spicy taste.

  18. 18
    Tracy says:

    Oh, random bit of candy trivia just popped into my head. While I was on the Jelly Belly factory tour, the guide told us that the three most popular Jelly Belly flavors were Very Cherry, Licorice, and Buttered Popcorn, a fact which boggled my mind, since Licorice and Buttered Popcorn are nowhere near the top of my list.

  19. 19
    Sea Hag says:

    I agree that Necco wafers are practically the same thing as conversation hearts… and they’re both gross! And circus peanuts… those things are in a filthy class all their own.

    I love salt-water taffy but it always seems like the wrapper sticks all over it and you wing up just eating part of it.

    What about sour candies? I hate most of those but I know there are a lot of sour candy fans.

  20. 20
    i_write says:

    CANDY HEARTS. Bah humbug!

    Yuck! BLACK LICORICE happens to be flavored with a plant extract called anise. Rumor has is anise can be used to kill lice, and when in liquid form, it can be put on lures to attract fish. Lice treatment and fish bait – yum.

    CINNAMON CANDY is just too hot. And what’s with people using Red Hots to decorate their Christmas cookies and Ginger Bread Men? Stop it! OK, just stop it.

    Am I the only one who thinks it’s odd that those CADBURY CRÈME EGGS come from a bunny?

    Sea Hag, I totally agree. Candy is sweet! It says so in the dictionary.

    What about the two I mention below? I think they should come with warning labels!

    POP ROCKS. I don’t like eating stuff that bites back. These candies actually explode in your mouth! They scare me.

    PIXIE STICKS. Now the candy itself is great. Sugar! But what nitwit decided to put it in a straw that requires you to tilt your head back and pour. Inevitably this pixie powder delivery system malfunctions. You do the unthinkable. You inhale. Have you ever had explain to your primary care physician that your asthma attack was brought on by pixie dust?

    :) heather strickland

  21. 21
    Sparkina says:

    Honorable Mentions:
    PEANUT BUTTER KISSES — Not Hershey’s, but the beige molasses confections with the peanut butter filling. The ones that come wrapped in orange or black tissue paper twists. Some think they’re yummy, others say “yuck.” I personally think they’re delectable and think it’s a shame that they’re only available around Halloween.

    BUNNY BASKET EGG (MARSHMALLOW EGGS) — Look like jellybeans, but opaque, and taste like hardened cake frosting. Disgusting to some, divine to others. I’m in the latter group. I think they’re plenty of tasty

    SPICE DROPS — Some love ‘em, some hate ‘em. I think they’re delish

  22. 22
    Amy says:

    I.Love.Cadbury Eggs. I still have some from Easter! Hopefully they didn’t go bad…anyone know if they do go bad?

    Thanks for compiling this made me laugh, seriously…Circus P-Nuts? Ewww. I think that’s the worst candy on the planet. It tastes like the phony orange color that it is. The texture…it’s been years and years since I’ve had any of these.

  23. 23
    Sea Hag says:

    Oh man, Sparkina, I totally forgot about those greasy peanut butter things in the orange or black wax paper you get for Halloween. However, my dad loved them so they weren’t the last bits of candy at the bottom of the bag along with the peppermints and pennies and boxes of raisins. And those horrid marshmallow eggs were great for pelting your brother with.

  24. 24
    Robby says:

    Sea Hag, I too pelted (and still do) my brother and sister (to a lesser degree) with candy! Have you ever just sucked off the coating of a Mike and Ike and spat the clear pellet at them like it was a bullet?

  25. 25
    Tracy says:

    I feel like Pixy Stix are one of those things that you love as a kid, and you don’t really enjoy them as an adult, but the nostalgia factor is so strong that you convince yourself that it’s really not that bad.

    Speaking of which, I had a bag of Flying Saucers the other day, and it was like eating Pixy Stix mixed with cardboard. Bleh and double bleh!

  26. 26
    Tracy says:

    Oh, but Tootsie Rolls are the polar opposite of Pixy Stix. I -hated- them as a kid. They would be the last easily identifiable candy (those colored disks of “who knows what?” were usually the very last) left in my Halloween bag. They looked like little bits of poop and you had to chew them forever.

    But now that I’m a bit older, I find I actually enjoy the flavor quite a bit. Sweet, but not too sweet, with a pleasantly fake chocolate flavor. It’s not great, but it ain’t bad, and there’s a whole range of products to choose from! There’s the lasting appeal of the original, but the fruit flavored ones are also extra-special awesome.

  27. 27
    stillapill says:

    Of the listed items, the only one I really hate is black licorice. Yuck!! I see no redeeming features in licorice.

    I think someone erred by not including the candy-coated marshmallow eggs from Easter. Those things are invariably hard as a rock on the outside and the inside is always grainy. The other thing that should have been mentioned but wasn’t, is chocolate-covered cherries. They are soooo sweet and the liquid filling always drips everywhere. The sad thing is I always forget why it is I don’t like them, so I have to buy a box each Christmas. Then I usually eat one thinking, “This isn’t so bad.” But by the second one, I am on a sugar-overload!

  28. 28
    dan says:

    I absolutely LOVE cinnamon candy and the hotter the better. and candy corns are one of my favorites, i really like the caramel apple flavor ones they get at halloween.

  29. 29
    Jessica says:

    I am a candy corn freak! The giant mellocreme pumpkins are my favorite! Just bought a bag of chocolate-caramel candy corn at Target. Pretty good, not great like I had hoped, they smell like coco puffs.

  30. 30
    Sara says:

    There’s not many candies that I don’t like – that being said, buttered popcorn jelly beans make me gag!

  31. 31
    Sea Hag says:

    Robby, I never spit out the clear gooey bit of a jelly bean at my brother… yet. I’m thinking that aiming for his hair would be where I could inflict the most damage.

  32. 32
    William B says:

    I don’t think there is any actual anise in black licorice. I did not think that I liked anise because of the horrible licorice that is called licorice but does not containg the real thing. Like marsmallow which is a real thing, not the sugary goo which is delicious but is not marshmallow.
    I only learned to enjoy anise on a trip to to the eastern Europe after having both Ouzo and Absinthe, the real thing, both flavored with anise and both do wonderful things to you after just a few sips.
    And btw, I was not insulting “true” cinnanom, I have not had it either, it is just what I have heard, that it is not good compared to what we know as cinnamon. But thay cinnamon oit is quite hot and will hurt you in high concentrations. I’m just sayin, it’s nothing personel or anything.

  33. 33
    ESRO2 says:

    Candy Corn, Circus Peanuts and Salt Water Taffy are DELICIOUS!!!

    p.s. So are ZAGNUTS!!

  34. 34
    Tracy says:

    Random thought for the day: do people with peanut allergies despise peanut-flavored candies on principle? And, if so, would said irrational hatred extend to such nominally-related items as Circus Peanuts by way of the sad allergy crazies?

  35. 35
    i_write says:

    Tracy, how philosophical. I wonder if that too extends to people with allergies to bees. Do they have an irrational hatred of jujubes because the last part of the candy’s name is phonetically bees? Or Bit-O-Honey candies? I’m glad I’m not overly allergic to anything!

    :) Heather

  36. 36
    Eric says:

    I don’t particularily hate any of those candies…but the cadbury eggs upset my stomach to an incredible degree. As for candy corn….ITS FREAKING AWESOME!!!…=). and I too wonder if people allergic to peanuts hate there
    odd-tasting cousin the cicus peanut, which oddly enough tastes in no way peanuty.

  37. 37
    Jenny says:

    No Brandon don’t suggest belly-button flavored jelly beans… there are Bertie Bott’s beans out there you know! Haha.

    I don’t hate any of these (though there are a few I dislike)except for the buttered popcorn jelly beans. SICK!! How can people like those?! They taste nothing likep opcorn, they are just disgusting.

  38. 38
    GinsuVictim says:

    I’ll just run down the list…

    10. Salt Water Taffy
    I’ve never been a fan. I’d eat it if you gave me a piece and I needed a bit of sugar in me, but it’s nothing I’d pursue.

    9. Candy Hearts
    Another I could take or leave. I have to be in the mood for them, and I never buy them. Give me some, I’ll eat ‘em, but probably not the whole box.

    8. Black Licorice
    I don’t see how anyone eats it. I’d rather bend over backwards and try to lick my own….

    7. Dark Chocolate
    Now we’re talking. The ultimate combination of bitter and sweet. Frickin’ YUM!

    6. Hot Cinnamon
    Red Hots and Hot Tamales (fresh bag) are great. They’re not overly hot. Atomic Fireballs aren’t as hot as they used to be, but crap like Warheads are just insane (hot or sour ones…hate ‘em).

    5. Cadbury Creme Eggs
    I love these and I love the caramel version. A little too sweet and messy, but still very good.

    4. Circus Peanuts
    Haven’t had ‘em in probably 20 years, but I liked ‘em then. Probably hasn’t changed.

    3. Peeps
    Pretty good stuff, but I can’t sit and eat too many. The sugary outside is overkill at times.

    2. Buttered Popcorn Jelly Beans

    1. Candy Corn
    I like the pumpkins, but candy corn isn’t as good as it used to be and I’ve grown tired of it.

  39. 39
    Candy Addict » Candy Review: Melville Lollipops says:

    [...] which was imminently clear when I tasted it. In fact, it’s very similar to the flavor of Jelly Belly’s Buttered Popcorn jellybeans. So if that’s your kind of thing, you should check these [...]

  40. 40
    Candy Addict » Candy Review: Tropical LifeSavers says:

    [...] is an opaque light yellow. The taste is strongly artificial banana, but creamy. It more resembles a Circus Peanut than a Runt, so if you like the flavor of those orange blobs, but not their texture, this should be [...]

  41. 41
    Caley says:

    I L♥VE L♥VE L♥VE all of them except black licorice and cinnamon candy. Dark Chocolate, well, there’s truth to both sides. Circus peanuts, well, I wouldn’t know. I’ve never had them because everyone i know says you might as well eat STYROFOAM peanuts because they taste better and are cheaper. ;P
    P.S. I just discovered this site today. I LOVE it!!!!!!

  42. 42
    Susan says:

    Am I the only one in the world who likes buttered popcorn Jelly Bellies?

  43. 43
    travis says:

    3 Words: Green. Jolly. Ranchers.

    love ‘em or hate ‘em. ALWAYS

  44. 44
    Jodie says:

    Another dislike vote for those big, brightly-colored, hard-shelled candy eggs with the diabetes-inducing sugary plaster on the inside! When I ended up with those, I used to eat the shell off and throw the rest away quickly before the gag reflex activated!

    Black licorice: Bring it on! A big handful of Liquorice Altoids is nice, but I want to try Turkisk Peber.
    Buttered Popcorn jelly beans: good! Put Toasted Marshmallow jelly beans with them for Kettle Korn flavor.
    Cinnamon candies: Why are there no truly hot cinnamon candies in existence? Atomic fireballs are so lame!
    The all-time worst candy: mango jelly beans! Anything green-apple flavored is a close second.

  45. 45
    Jarod says:

    BLECH! I literally hate just about everything on that list. Dark chocolate tastes like someone spilled coffee on milk chocolate! The only thing there I like is salt water taffy, and they do not taste the same. Go to old Sac, there’s tons of all kinds of flavors! I LOVE white chocolate, not the processed but the delicious kind :D I once had white chocolate filled with caramel, when I was a kid, and I’ve been searching for it ever since! I believe it was a hard to find Ghirardelli flavor. Anyone know what I’m talking about? It was like God gave me a preview of Heaven!

  46. 46
    Divebich says:

    Licorice is a love/hate for most – the real (black) kind anyway. I just did a NIBs run, sometimes nothing else will do. Black for me, cherry for the boyfriend.

    How did VIOLETS not make the list? Not sure they sell it anymore, and wouldn’t be surprised. I like them, but there is no way to express what they taste like. Can anyone take a shot? You’ll them when you see them….

  47. 47
    Punk princess says:

    <3 OMG <3 no susan , your not alone i <3 buttered popcorn jelly bellies , i love all jelly bellies! its been awile since i had circus peanuts , i remember being really young and half awake , watching dumbo in my room when im supposed to be asleep , eating them.when i first enter my room and rip open the container , at first its exiting , "oooh yummy! orange marshmellows!" the flavor isn't what i expected , but still is fakely tasty. in about 2hrs of munching im thinking "uh…so hungry..but i don't want to eat anymore of this crap!":).

  48. 48
    Arlynn says:

    I do like the Cadbury Creme Eggs from time to time. Though my first experience with them was to eat one while driving. Within moments I had a good coating of the gooey stuff which makes up the candy’s center on my steering wheel. :)

  49. 49
    Erin says:

    I work at a bulk food store that sells candy, and I assure you, our salt water taffy is all sorts of different flavors. I always pick out the neapolitan ones!

  50. 50
    Candy obssesive says:

    1- Salt water taffy: Love it. I don’t know HOW anyone could hate it! I think my favorite is the strawberry banana or the Neopolitan. They are amazing!
    2- Candy hearts: HATE. I don’t know how anyone likes them. I think they just taste like baking powder, cardboard, and week old salami. Just gross.
    3- Black Licorice: Ew… Hate them. It kind of tastes like- I don’t think I can describe it. What I can say, though, is that the texture is more like car tires then any I’ve ever encountered.
    4- Dark Chocolate: So so, I guess- It depends on what kind of dark chocolate it really is. Hershey’s special dark? Of course. Cacao? No way. It just depends on how much cacao is in it…
    5- I don’t even think i can finish this list without wanting to go get something from it.
    Once again, you have suceeded in making me crave multiple kinds of candy at once, forcing me to consume a possible deadly mixture of sugar confectionaries. :P

  51. 51
    Ladyann says:

    @Divebich, they still sell Violets! They taste just like violet soap smells- weird but strangely enjoyable for some (me), disgusting for most others. That would be an excellent addition to this list.
    They could add Chuckles also. Of all the gummy candies, this is the worst. Even my 4yo kid started gagging and puking trying to get the taste of one out of his mouth- “Mommy that’s nasty!” Jujubes are pretty gag-worthy too, only because they’re like chewing a wad of flavored hot-glue. And yet some people love the old fashion flavors of Chuckles; don’t know anyone myself that likes Jujubes.
    Altoids can go on the list too- gross. Can’t believe how many people like them.
    I LOVE popcorn Jelly Belly jelly beans!

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