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Sorry, Australia, But Your Candy (Lollies) Is Trash

I am not going Trick-or-Treating this year.

It’s not because I’m old and it would be inappropriate for me to show up at strangers’ doors in “sexy Shrek” suit, though that is true. 

And it’s not because I’m easily spooked, opposed to American consumerist holidays or because I associate Halloween with bullying and racism (it’s a long story).

It’s because I don’t want to end up with a bucket of terrible Australian candy. 

"No more musk sticks! Please!" (Image: Getty)

I should pause at this point because many people will have no idea what I’m talking about. Lollies, okay? Lollies and chocolates. But candy is a nice catch-all term for lollies and chocolate. If I have to keep writing "lollies and chocolate" over and over again, we'll never get out of here.

Now, I’m not what you call a “candy guy”. I’m more of a “cake chap” or an “ice cream depressive”. On any given Friday night, I’d rather hunker down on the couch with 20 to 30 chocolate chip cookies and several litres of milk than eat a bunch of candy.

So in this way, I have been extremely lucky because if I was into candy, I would be completely out of luck because Australian candy is terrible. All of it.

(Full disclosure: I am American and the best candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, because the combination of chocolate and peanut butter is the best combination of tastes every invented.)

I don’t know why this is the case. Australia has incredible coffee, beer and wine. Australia has Tim Tams. It doesn’t make sense that it’s so bad at candy.

And it's not all Australia's fault. The UK should wear a lot of the blame, especially since a lot of all this bad candy appears to be made by Cadbury, which, until now, I assumed was a reputable maker of chocolate. Apparently, the company began pelting Australia with weird, bad versions of its product in 1853. And they're still punishing us with Jelly Crunchie Bits (what?) and Jelly Popping Candy Beanies (God, no).

Maybe this is why so many Australians are resistant to Halloween. If I had to drag myself up and down the road, sweating profusely in some preposterous costume, only to return home and dump out the cornucopia of sadness that passes for candy brands, I’d be furious too. I’d take to the streets. I’d start a Candy Extinction Rebellion.

Just so you know I’m not fooling around, I’ve ranked Australian candy (lollies and chocolate) in order of worst to less worst…

Cherry Ripe

Apparently, this is “cherries and desiccated coconut wrapped in milk chocolate”. “Desiccated”? What does that mean? It sounds like the candy is cursed. Also, fruit and chocolate are terrible together. I know that's a controversial opinion but we live in tumultuous times.

Aniseed Rings

What in the hell is aniseed? It sounds like a plant that kills you. Wait, I just looked it up. It's a spice, similar to dill, which, as we all know, is a delightful sweet treat.

Musk Sticks

This, to me, represents the pinnacle of bad Australian candy. It looks like it could be bubble gum (it’s not), which would be fun (it is not). It also doesn’t taste like bubble gum, which tastes good. Indeed, it is not good. It’s like eating chalk -- without all that good chalky flavour.

Apparently, it’s one of Australia’s “most misunderstood treats”. I’m not sure what people aren’t understanding. It’s bad. Case closed.

Milkybar

This may have started in the UK. I can't tell. But that doesn't change the fact that milk isn’t candy. And if this is white chocolate, that isn’t chocolate. Nothing about this candy is real. It’s a cruel illusion.

Snakes… and Frogs... and Killer Pythons and...

Australia loves to do the jelly gummy thing with a variety of animals and call it candy. Sometimes they’re found in a collection called Allen’s Party Mix. If someone offers you a mix of this candy at a party, you should call the police.

I’d rather eat a real snake. (That’s not true. I’m just upset.)

Chokito

What.

Picnic

What does candy have to do with picnics? Picnics are about wine and cheese and yelling at other people's children. That's it.

Crunchie

When I look at this, I imagine the shards of “explosive honeycomb” getting jabbed into my major arteries. We have the UK to blame for this one.

Sour Ears

Ears?! Where’s the rest of the body?

What. Happened. To. The. Body.

Wizz Fizz

A lot of Australian candy seems like a rip off of American candy. This stuff is clearly Pop Rocks, right? To be fair, I don’t know which came first and I’m not going to look it up. I’m just going to assume Wizz Fizz, which is a terrible name, came second.

Red Skins

Like the racist American football team name, this candy originally relied on the dehumanisation of Native Americans! 

Bullets

Licorice should not be covered in chocolate. It should be thrown straight in the trash.

Jaffas

I am not eating anything involving chocolate and orange, which is one of the worst taste combinations humans invented.

Cadbury Snack

I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s meat in there.

Fantales

The best breakfast sandwich in the country is served at a cafe near me -- it’s a bacon and egg wrap with hollandaise sauce and it is delightful. I love it so much. The coffee at this cafe is also really good. And with the coffee, they sometimes give a free Fantale, which is hateful. How on earth does this amazing cafe pass this caramel chocolate combination on to its unsuspecting customers? It’s also worth asking how anyone can ruin the combination of caramel and chocolate?

Making matters worse, Fantales are apparently “Australia’s most iconic lolly”. Truly depressing.

Candy Teeth

This is absolutely diabolical.

Violet Crumble

Looking at a list of Australian candy is like reading a catalogue of bad ideas. Honeycomb and chocolate! Cut it out. 

The only thing that’s going to crumble is your integrity.

Chicos

Chocolate brown jelly boys?

I don’t want to get political, but this feels like one of those candies that will appear in a listicle in 10 years titled ‘Can You Believe This Was Marketed To Children?’

Boiled Sweets

What planet are we on? Am I going crazy? Who would buy a sweet that’s boiled? How is that appetising?

Favourites

No social event in Australia is complete without one of these joyless towers of emptiness. There is nothing in these tall boxes for you, me or anyone else. It’s the greatest hits of that band you really hate, where the lead singer has become a prominent anti-vaxxer.

Soft Centres

That softness you’re tasting? That’s shame.

Flake

Some people like wafers in their candy. Those people are called sociopaths. Also this looks like a tree trunk.

Maltesers

This is a popular movie candy, which is appropriate because eating one of them is like being inside a horror movie where teens and good taste are murdered.

Milko Chews

No good candy in the history of candy has ever had “chew” in the title. A chew implies that it’s going to be impossible to manage, get stuck in your teeth and taste like styrofoam. 

Minties

Why do so many of these bad candies have cutesy names? I assure you, there’s nothing cute about giving children one of these little white bricks of doom.

Jubes

Is this a candy or a slur?

Curly Wurly

This could be the story of almost all the Cadbury products sold in Australia:

Cadbury CEO: We can't get enough desperate people to eat something called Curly Wurly here in the UK -- send it to Australia.

Cadbury Lackey: What about the Curly Wurly Squirlies? 

Cadbury CEO: Are they in the shape of a squirrel? 

Cadbury Lackey: I don’t know. 

Cadbury CEO: Yep send them too.

Pods

Movie theatres have been hit hard by the Australian bad candy epidemic, thanks to the complete lack of temptation. If you don’t buy popcorn, you don’t need to buy anything.

Golden Rough

Nothing with the word “rough” in it has ever been good.

Freckles

The chocolate is bad and that sprinkly stuff on it is also bad. But at least it’s not Fairy Bread.

Freddo Frog and Caramello Koala

This is the very best Australia has to offer, candy-wise. Not good. Sad.

special mention:

Chomp

Gulp

Hum

Sherbies

Furbies

Roller Derbies

JimJams

Boggle Doggle

Peach Hearts

Live Beating Hearts

Wine Gums

Beer Goggles

Scotch

Top Deck

Back Yard

Fruit Tingles

Jelly Knees

Anxiety Attax

Erratic Sleep Patterns

Cobbers

Clinkers

Finders

Keepers

Milk Tray

House Face

Some of those are made up, but can you tell which ones? Of course you can’t. They all sound preposterous!

Enjoy Halloween, everyone...