My favorite book about candy came out 10 years ago. “Candyfreak,” by Steve Almond — a byline in search of a subject if there ever was one — is a must-have hymnal for anyone who worships confection in all its forms. For a story a few years back, I asked Almond about what the candy you give out for Halloween says about you. He agreed to muse on this as long as I made clear that he was a “professional candyfreak, not a therapist.” Fair enough. Here’s what Almond, whose most recent book is “Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto,” had to say about candy brands and what they say about the people who hand them out to trick-or-treaters.
[READ: Is there going to be a war on candy? ]
Candy Corn: “Purely deluded people. They don’t get that candy shouldn’t attempt to imitate other food groups, particularly corn.”
Snack-size history: Invented in the 1880s, it was first manufactured commercially by the Wunderle Candy Co. in Philadelphia, and by the turn of the century at the Herman Goelitz Candy Co. in Cincinnati.
Twix: “Both brittle and supple in social situations; sort of trapped between personality types.”
Snack-size history: A Mars product, caramel-and-cookie Twix bars were created in the United Kingdom in 1967 but weren’t sold in the United States until 1979.
Three Musketeers: “Does well in groups but is somewhat pompous. Prone to fancy costumes and arcane weapons. Wears hats in public that are ill-advised.”
Snack-size history: Created in 1932 by Mars, the candy bar got its name because it originally had three pieces in one packet: vanilla, strawberry and chocolate.
Almond Joy: “I’m going to put aside my aversion to coconut in praising these folks as happy-go-lucky.”
Snack-size history: Introduced in 1946 by the Peter Paul Candy Manufacturing Co. in New Haven, Conn. It’s a companion to the Mounds bar, which arrived in 1920.
Bit-O-Honey: “They have contradictory personalities, hoping to express generosity but also having the passive-aggressive desire to damage the fillings of trick-or-treaters.”
Snack-size history: The honey-flavored taffy was first manufactured in 1924 by the Schutter-Johnson Co. of Chicago. It is now made by Nestle.
Butterfinger: “Evasive, slippery, not necessarily to be trusted.”
Snack-size history: Invented in 1923 by the Curtiss Candy Co. of Chicago. The crunchy bar wrapped in chocolate is now made by Nestle.
Good & Plenty: “Optimistic, perhaps overly so. A little bit of Weimar energy. Strong advocate of gay rights; acquainted with the bitterness at the center of most lives.”
Snack-size history: The licorice candy was first produced in 1893 by the Quaker City Confectionery Co. in Philadelphia and is considered the oldest branded candy in the country.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: “Generous souls. Those who understand the salty in life, as well as the sweet.”
Snack-size history: Created by Harry Burnett Reese in the 1920s. Reese was a former dairy employee of Milton Hershey, founder of the Hershey Co. In 1963, the Reese candy company was sold to Hershey for $23.5 million.
Snickers: “Just going with the crowd, the safe candy choice, guaranteed to please the masses. Not ambitious, but dependable.”
Snack-size history: Created in 1930 by Mars, Snickers bars originally sold for a nickel. The Fun Size was introduced in 1968.
Twizzlers: “Sickos. Truly demented. Plastic people living plastic lives.”
Snack-size history: The Twizzlers brand was introduced in 1929. The red licorice strips are manufactured by Y&S Candies, a company established in 1845 that is now a Hershey subsidiary.