Candy Etiquette

Candy. You know that whether sour or sweet, chewy or hard, gummy or goopy, it's all sugar, and sugar is sugar is sugar. Therefore, how you eat candy is often just as important as what it tastes like (surprise surprise, it's sugar!). Do I have a problem with this? Heck no. I'm a sugar addict as much as anyone else. I like my frosting with a layer of colored sugar coating on top. I like my sugar gummy worms rolled in sugar. I will not rest until they somehow find another place to stick yet more sugar into sugar itself (and won't rest for a few years after that). As a candy aficionado though, as you're shoveling in gobs of the stuff and your mind starts going in fast-forward, you start to realize that the way you put it in your mouth enhances the novelty of it long after the sugar rush has already set in.

You don't just eat Oreos, you "have sex with them" (Seinfeld Oreo joke). Seriously though, am I right people? Oreos are ripe for experimentation, innovation, and reverse engineering for the sake of your increased dining pleasure. You eat an Oreo by pulling it apart, lifting the top layer off with a gradual twist so that it doesn't break, and licking the frosting center before downing the bottom layer. If not, you twist off the top, take another cookie and twist off its top, stick the two layers of cream together, and have yourself an early version of the Double Stuffed (kids these days are so spoiled, in my day we had to make our own Double Stuffs). Or, if you're really dedicated, you can attempt to rip a few Oreos apart, carefully peel or slice the cream layers off, and make yourself an inverted Oreo (two layers of cream, cookie in the middle). Any way you do it, you're basically playing Frankenstein.

On the other hand, there's really only two ways to eat a Reese's (regardless of what the ads say). You either bite off the chocolate fluted sides first so that you have a wheel of peanut butter (or whatever that stuff in the middle is supposed to be), or you skillfully poke the wheel out of the center and eat that first, leaving a ring of fluted chocolate you can then put on your eyes like glasses. Any other way to do it is nothing short of Philistine.

Gummy worms are probably my favorite candy, not just for what they taste like, but for what you can do with them. They work best because you can stick them in your nose, and eat them at the same time. The effect of this is obvious. You are literally eating your boogers! And not just eating them, but "chewing" on them (think about it). This is especially true if the colors happen to be yellow and green, although red takes it to a whole other level. Needless to say, I grossed out a few peeps in my day. But seriously, is there any other way to eat a gummy worm other than to just shovel them in like nothing? These candy makers know what they're doing. It's entrapment. They want kids to stick these things in their noses.

Okay, maybe there are multiple ways to eat the candy of your choice, but there is only one way to eat a lolipop: to bite it. Nobody has licked a lolipop since the 1930's. You suck on it for a minute and then chomp down, like good ole' Mr. Owl. As a young dork though, I once declared that figuring out the Tootsie Pop quandary was of vital scientific importance for humanity. How many licks does it take to get to that god-awful Toosie Roll center? One day back in my kidhood, I forwent convention and licked my tongue dry for a good hour in the backseat of the car on a day of errands. I was young. I was brash. I was bored as all get out. But in the end, my count came to 309. Hey, at least I had a cool story to tell my friends.

I was confident I'd figured out what nobody else could, that is, until recently. The other day I did some research and learned how Purdue engineering students actually built a licking machine to scientifically test how many it would take to get to the center. Their count came to 364. Other licking machines made it to 411 licks. Studies of people licking them have averaged 252 licks. Non-scientific challenges have averaged 144 licks. It was discouraging, even if it does prolong the quandary, as indeed, nobody seems to know just how many licks it takes, but perhaps, Tootsie Pops make you think too much.

Nerds are better anyways. They too fit in your nose.


  1. Hahaha! I totally eat my Reese's Peanut Butter Cups like that, still! =P Do you remember the Oreo Reese's Peanut Butter cups?! Those were my favorite! I got a king size once when my softball coaches' daughter knocked out my tooth with a fly ball! =P

    1. Ouch! I hope you got to eat a ton of ice cream too. hehe