N Candy AA II: Sweet Sixteen
November 8, 2010

Confused? Hungry? Searching for answers? Look no further. Bracket is here, voting is now.

8 Sugar Daddy/Babies; Slo-Poke vs. 4 Pop Rocks. I've got nothing against Pop Rocks, but as candies go, it's just not that satisfying for me. I like the flavors, but the novelty wears off quickly, and I'd rather eat something chewy and substantial. Granted, the opponent takes "chewy and substantial" to rather a ridiculous extreme, but I'm voting Babies. That said, I predict a tight race, with Rocks the eventual victor.

11 pillow mints vs. 10 Nerds. Pillow mints' defeat of Tic-Tacs is the upset of the draw so far. Not that it was decisive -- a mere four votes separated the two -- but I didn't expect the pillows to notch even thirty percent. Can they continue their unlikely run? Doubtful. Nerds, a stealth favorite, have been trouncing the competition by healthy margins thus far. Pillow mints get my vote, but Nerds will get yours. ["I'm rooting for pillow mints now -- them's a scrappy, spunky kind of candy!" -- Keckler]

1 Peeps vs. 5 saltwater taffy. Keckler picked Peeps to take the N Candy AA Non-Chocolate crown, and while I can see that happening, I can also see Peep-haters punting the little bunnies into oblivion this round. Peeps should have crushed Now & Laters, but didn't, and as much as people (myself included) love them, saltwater taffy seems to figure into far more nostalgic summer memories. I know it brings me right back to the summer of '81. Grandma and I got a peppermint piece to stretch the whole width of the living room in Stone Harbor. Good times. Anyway: tough call -- you can't make taffy joust in the microwave -- but I'll pick taffy FTW.

11 Smarties/SweeTarts vs. 15 gobstoppers. …Jesus. I don't understand what either of these is still doing in the competition. One tastes like bile unless you heat it up; the other is a sugar goiter that makes you look like you're committing sodomy; neither of them is a root-beer Dum Dum, whose shocking departure I hereby memorialize by not caring who wins this matchup. It'll be Smarties, though. Unfortunately.

-- Bunting

1 Skittles vs. 4 Life Savers. I suddenly remembered Cream Savers the other day. I know they almost killed Bunting, and were it not for Couch Baron MacGyvering up her release with a can of Diet Coke, she would no longer be with us BUT I still love them. (Bunting does, too, I think. It's an abusive relationship, but we support her anyway. ["You guys just don't understand them! They can be very sweet! …Lifetime-movie cracks aside, yes, I do still love them, even those pink-headed stepchildren the raspberry flavor." -- Bunting]) Point is, Cream Savers plus the warm (and previously mentioned) childhood memories I have of Life Savers means I want them to win.

However, I will say that touting them as "the first dairy-based Life Savers" actually kind of grosses me out. Apparently, they're made with real cream, which might not go down well with the lactose-intolerant. (Hew.) Oh, and "real cream" translates as "cream (milk)" in the ingredients, which is probably why they decided to go with the would-be-French-with-an-accent-grave "crème." I'm not making a very good case for Life Savers. But I still want them to win. Point of order: should we pronounce them "Crem Savers"? And if we did, could we pretend that the Kremlin hands them out to visitors, the same way the White House does M&Ms? 

3 Reese's Pieces vs. 10 Jolly Ranchers. Two candies I just can't get that excited about. While I do think their sour apple might possibly be the best sour apple candy I've had, JR's just not that exciting. Also, despite evidence to the contrary, people still believe Reese's Pieces have chocolate, and chocolate -- even when it's imaginary -- beats Jolly Ranchers.

1 Twizzlers/Nibs vs. 5 Kraft caramels. Seriously? SERIOUSLY?! I can't be expected to make this Sophie's Choice. (BTW: I finally looked up the entire story of Sophie's Choice on Wikipedia to figure out which kid she actually chose. I now do this with movies/books I am curious about but don't want to see because I'll never sleep again and/or stop crying. See also: The Ring, The Blair Witch Project, The Lovely Bones, etc.) Where was I? Oh, right: Twizzlers or Kraft cara-- NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I CAN'T! I CAN'T DO THIS PLEASE DON'T MAKE ME CHOOOOOOOSE! Okay, I'll go with Twizzlers.

6 Jelly Bellies vs. 2 Starburst. Oh, come on: Starburst. There's no question. Though I do need to say that I used to really like Jelly Bellies. Especially the translucent aqua ones that tasted like peppermint. (Which APPARENTLY no longer rate in their Official 50 Flavors.) And at the risk of grossing everyone out, I actually liked the buttered popcorn ones. I thought I would hate them, but they're actually kind of awesome in their weirdness. Unlike the roarfy white coconut ones. ["I loved those. Keckler and Buntiiiiiing…FIGHT!" -- Bunting] The thing with Starburst is that you know what flavors you're getting, and you pretty much like all the flavors you're getting. With Jelly Bellies, you probably get a whole lot that you hate. I guess you can now buy flavor-specific packs, but that doesn't seem sporting somehow.

Another knock against Jelly Bellies is: where the hell do you even buy them? I never see them on sale anywhere. And now I've just completely grossed myself out by looking at all of Jelly Bellies flavor combos. Coldstone Creamery? I get food poisoning just by walking by one of those. Birthday Cake Remix?! …Yeah, Starburst. Totally.

-- Keckler

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