Halloween Junk Food!

Okay, with the holidays, I know I lay it on too thick. For some of you, Halloween is just another day, or at best, an excuse to watch onscreen gore and feel like you’re a part of something bigger.

Many of you don’t or won’t decorate. Many of you have no continued interest in Halloween costumes. Many of you start and end your Halloween “participation” by reading what idiots like me put online during this time of year.

It’s fine, I get it. But there’s still one thing nobody can take away from you: Weird Halloween junk food. I refuse to believe that anyone is too old, too poor or too disinterested for scary cupcakes and haunted tortilla chips. When all else fails and Halloween seems more like a concept than an experience, you’ll always have frightening fat and creepy carbohydrates. And deathly dietary fiber, though in reality there won’t be much of that.

Below: Five examples of 2011’s best Halloween junk food. I will make your mouth water, even if it means using restraints and a fire hose.

Hostess Orange Cupcakes!

These aren’t new for 2011, and I have proof. After I bought them, I tried to stuff ‘em into the “not really for eating” section of our kitchen cabinets, only to be greeted by another box of Hostess Orange Cupcakes, which I apparently didn’t get around to covering last year. What a moment that was. I’m trying to develop it into a short story, but I can’t shake the notion that somebody else already has.

Consider these cupcakes a concession from Hostess. Since those decidedly unHalloweeny Transformers snacks took the spots of their usually-more-scary treats, they threw us something with a closer tie to the season. Baby, nothing screams “Halloween” like yellow cupcakes that reek of Lemon Pledge.

Maybe the pill abuse messed with my vision, but those are yellow, right? I mean, they’re at least more yellow than they are orange. And I’d almost be willing to forgive that if they didn’t stink like lemons. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a nice smell. It’s appetizing. But it is not orangey.

Course, the only reason I’m complaining is because they look so flat and misshapen. It’s becoming clear that some kitchen cabinet bungle led me to open and photograph the cupcakes I bought last year. As ever, Hostess pays for my sins.

Fortunately, this lemony faux pas is saved by the box, which depicts a purple night sky filled with bats. When you live in a house like that, you’re Halloweeny no matter what color you are.

Oh, and they taste like lemons, too. It’s almost maddening to see Hostess classify these as orange. I feel like four lights-era Picard.

Mission Halloween Tortilla Chips!

I’ve since learned that Mission is a big enough brand, but I never noticed ‘em until they started dyeing tortilla chips orange and black.

The “Halloween chip” is a sadly underutilized gimmick, and the last time I can remember anyone giving it a serious try was back in 2006. I feel somehow indebted to Mission, and I know that returning the favor will be a steep price to pay. I wanted orange and black chips, but not enough to kill anyone. Except maybe my brother’s wife, so I’ll win the family-wide Scrabble tournament come Thanksgiving Day.

They’re restaurant style, which has come to simply mean “triangular.” I wish companies would admit it, as I bet a friend that I could make the term “triangle style” catch fire by the middle of 2012. If I succeed, I will own New Zealand.

The chips look strangely elegant, and pair nicely with Tostitos’ “Restaurant Style” salsa. With salsa, that term means so much more. Gone are the days of enormous “plain tomato” chunks. Bask in the glory of salsa drippy enough to eat like a soup, which is something I have done and will continue doing.

Oh, and Hostess? See half of those chips? That’s orange.

Act II Candy Corn Popcorn Mini-Bags!

Found at Walmart, and the price was unreal: A huge box of twenty mini-bags for four dollars. This is an effective defense to anyone who may challenge Walmart’s policies or morality. No argument will be lost by the side who can say that they sell this much popcorn for four bucks. It’s “infinity no backsies” times a trillion.

These mini-bags aren’t as “mini” as some of ACT II’s other “minis,” a statement that is merely my covert way of paying tribute to the 84th best cartoon mouse. They’re almost double the size of the mini-bags I’m used to seeing.

The popcorn is supposed to taste like candy corn, and so long as candy corn popcorn should taste exactly like kettle corn popcorn, it does. A small attempt was made to make the popcorn look like candy corn, but it’s weak, and if I have to type “mini” or “corn” one more time, this review will double as my suicide letter.

I’m enjoying the idea of handing these out to trick-or-treaters come Halloween night. Or, you know, Halloween afternoon, since the only kids who fish for free candy during the afterhours are snarky sixteen-year-olds who don’t wear costumes. I won’t open the door for those types.

Kraft Jet-Puffed Pumpkin Spice Mallows!

Man, Kraft really went all-in with the Halloween marshmallows this year. I wonder what lit that fire? There had to be a personnel shakeup very high up in the chain.

They’re small, brown, pumpkin-shaped mallows intended to taste something like pumpkin pie. I’ve never eaten pumpkin pie, so I cannot comment on how true that is. They’re okay, for whatever that’s worth.

The real thing is their smell. It’s good, but it’s impossibly sharp. Ever have one of those Gingerbread Lattes from Starbucks? When you open a bag of these mallows, it’s like being trapped in a box with ten thousand steaming cups of them.

The mallows look, taste and smell thematic. It’s a worthy Halloween junk food, but Kraft wasn’t finished:

Kraft Jet-Puffed JUMBO Pumpkin Mallows!

These are vanilla flavored, which I’m taking to mean “not specially flavored.” Marshmallows this huge and Halloweeny really have no need for special flavors. Like a bitchy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, they get by on their looks.

The package design is sweet, too. One of 2011’s best examples of an idealized “autumn scene.” When we think of Halloween in July, that’s what we picture. Then it gets here, and it’s a hundred degrees out. But when you have this bag, it feels more like a cool 92.

The marshmallows are HUGE. They’re monsters. Kraft recommends using them to create chocolate-dipped single treats, which is their way of saying, “these are really too big to do normal marshmallow things with.”

I don’t mind. I love the idea of marshmallow bullies who run the streets with iron fists.

There’s a hierarchy in this kingdom, and it has everything to do with size. If only they used their powers for good instead of evil.

I don’t like your font choice, Giant Evil Mallow. It’s too goofy. It’s Comic Sansy. Your jabs would be more effective in a deadpan font. Maybe something in the Tahoma family?

REMINDER: Check out that loooong table on the right-side column for ALL of this year’s Halloween fun, plus links to all past Halloween Countdowns! Over 200 eerie articles in all!

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58 Responses to Halloween Junk Food!

  1. Tresjolie9 says:

    Those are all freaking cool, pumpkin flavored marshmallows, cotton candy popcorn. Too bad I’m trying to lose weight….

  2. Annette says:

    Jugendsehnsucht, one of the local stores that uses Papyrus is called “Sandalwood and Sage”.

  3. Jade says:

    The Hostess Yellow Cupcakes.. Oh my god, in spite of my health-nut status I’m starting to feel a little bit of a desire for them.. Especially when you said lemon, I actually really like lemon in pastries at least.. Mm..

    The tortilla chips are truly an awesome find, they do look quite regal and a little sparkly to boot. Why don’t we ever get things like that? I’ve never seen those in our Walmart before.

    The popcorn.. Meh.. I don’t care for popcorn myself but it does sound vaguely appetizing in a strange sort of way..

    The marshmallows I’ve done a review on as well, those are fucking great. I’ve never seen the Jumbo ones, though. While we had and got the normal sized ones those Jumbo ones are strangely more alluring. Haha, so cool that you did faces on them too. Bravo, very creative.

    Great article!

  4. If there’s one thing I hate more than Papyrus and insomnia, it’s YURTS.

    There is a place in Poughkeepsie, I think, with a giant Papyrus sign outside. It’s called THE LIVING SEED and it’s some kind of holistic yoga steam rock bullshit yurt hell hole where I imagine everything smells like hippie feet.

    Another day or so of this sleeplessness and I’ll be considering arson, too. I think I know where I’ll start my rampage of terror. Flee, hippies.

  5. Muppet Baby says:

    YES. Those are YELLOW. Then, I scrolled up, and read the ‘Orange Cupcakes’ written right on the box and burst out laughing. They still look good, though.

  6. Cheetara says:

    I come home from running an errand and what do I find? Font jokes on X-E… easily the best part of my day. The weekend is almost here, and with it will come a trip to see The Lion King (In 2D, thankyouverymuch), foodage at The Cheesecake Factory, and my birthday. Wheeeeee!

  7. “Font jokes on X-E… easily the best part of my day.” Cheetara
    A sans-serif is walking down the road, when suddenly, out of nowhere, a great big Swiss Modernist truck comes down the street and runs it over. It was quite a grotesk scene—descenders and ascenders akimbo, kerning knocked completely out of place—but as you know, akzidenz happen…

  8. starwenn says:

    Yum. I’ll take those Halloween Mission chips (I’m not a potato chip fan, but I will occasionally try a bag of the less-greasy tortilla chips) and the Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows. I’ll bet hot chocolate would taste divine with those babies.

  9. Juge you can’t do this to me. Not after I ate that pil. No font jokes.

    How do you do this every time? Are you in league with satan?

  10. What has a swash-tailed Q, cursive serifs, and roams the foggy hills of Dartmoor?
    The Hound of the Baskerville.

    What’s bold, grotesque, and sits around listening to Xmal Deutschland and Sex Gang Children all day?
    Franklin Gothic.


  11. Come over here and put your eye out on my finger. I’m too listless to jab at you. Right there, at the end of my finger. Poke your eye out on it.

  12. thespookywaffle says:

    Oh, I want those chips. Those are Halloween party chips. My husband and I are throwing a Halloween party for his employees and those are just perfect. Now I just need a good recipe for a disgusting greenish dip to go with those. I have already planned on buying that candy corn popcorn to hand out, they looked so awesome! I want those giant pumpkin marshmallows, looks like I could throw them at people and make them fall to the ground from the weight of them.

    Has anyone noticed a lack of Halloween Jones soda this year? I can’t find them anywhere, not even Target.

  13. brandmed says:

    “Anyone going to see Ghostbusters tonight?”-Mystie

    I just got back from seeing it. I had so much fun! As I said last night, it’s my third favorite movie ever and the only one of my top five I had not seen on the big screen. For me, seeing a movie in a theater is just a much more satisfying experience than seeing it any other way. We had a great (though surprisingly sparse crowd). There were several guys from the Georgia Ghostbusters there in uniform. One of them had his baby daughter with him. I’m normally not very tolerant of babies being at movies but when they are cosplaying the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, I can deal.

    Speaking of Halloween food, I’m having trouble finding any good stuff. I finally found some Count Chocula at Target last week. I can’t find Ghoul-Aid, the pumpkin pie pop-tarts, or Halloween Crunch. And I’ve been able to find Pitch Black since July and when I’m on my last two cans it suddenly disappears just before Halloween. I would have rationed more carefully had I known it was going away.

  14. Faith says:

    Dude. I must find those marshmallows. Marshmallllllooooooows……..

  15. David says:

    Gill Sans is a great typeface … Papyrus … gahhh, I was looking at spa logos today, never have I see more Papyrus in my life. And Curlz, lots and lots of Curlz as well.

  16. DJ D says:

    “DJ D- You might already know about it, but apparently Jem and the Holograms is coming to DVD this week. There’s a story about it on tv.com.”Hoverbored
    Oh, this is just great. This is what my life has become. Someone hears some Jem news and their first instinct is to not ignore it, or maybe pass it on to their little sister. No, let’s go tell the 33 year old single guy without a girlfriend who has a weird radio show and spends all his free time on the damn internet. Yeah, that’s the guy that needs to know, cause that’s how he gets his jollies.

    Sad thing is, I brought it on myself. It’s not like my weird fixation with Kimber is any secret.

    Oh, and for the record, those things are yellow, I despise kettle korn, and Juggers‘ font jokes had me cracking up just now.

  17. Dan H says:

    @Deej you were the first one I thought of when I heard about this! Heck I even had a bet with Guise about you picking it up! And you’d better pick it up! I’d hate for you to have an “accident” or something. I don’t like losing bets.

  18. Annette says:

    thespookywaffle: For a green dip, why not just use guacamole? Or salsa verde? Or if you want to be kind of gross, maybe get some French onion dip and put a bunch of green food coloring in it.

  19. DJ D says:

    So basically, my survival on this earth is dependent up one whether or not I spend even more time and money worrying about whether Stormer, the reluctant Misfit, will finally man-up and tell Pizazz to shove it, or will she keep going along with their mischief and general bitchiness, all in the effort to fit in because she never really had a family. Well, aside from her brother, who once tried out to be the drummer for The Holograms, only to lose out to that Mexican girl, Raya…And then there was that one time….

    Yeah, I need a girlfriend.

  20. Dan H says:

    Deej all I’m saying is accidents happen. Horrible, painful accidents. Some might even say outrageous accidents happen. Truly, truly, truly outrageous accidents even. And I think we’d all hate to see that happen if you know what I mean.

  21. “Come over here and put your eye out on my finger. I’m too listless to jab at you. Right there, at the end of my finger. Poke your eye out on it.”Rev The Eyes are Easily Poked (Ouch!) 13
    I can’t be bothered with the travel expenses, so I used my own finger, with predictably similar results. DAMN IT, WHY DID I JUST DO THAT?

    “Juggers’ font jokes had me cracking up just now.”DJ JEM
    Seek help. NOW.

    Meanwhile, my latest bit of Halloween viewing was fan-freakin-tastic. Any love here for Simon, King of the Witches? Black magic, psychedelic looking special effects, a gay rent-boy sidekick, and Warhol Factory girl Ultra Violet as a stuck-up stripper-turned-witch. All a great deal more intentionally funny than the trailer makes it out to be; it’s actually a black comedy of sorts. Great stuff.

  22. spooky says:

    I am going to find a box of Halloween Crunch. Something kept me from it today. Instead Chipotle decided to irritate my bowls.

    But tomorrow, Halloween Crunch. AND now because of this awesome list, Halloween mini Popcorn bags.

  23. Matt says:

    God, I am going to pay for this holiday season when it’s over. It’s been a decade since my schedule has been this fricked up. Next week I’m supposed to be starting a work project, and while it’s mostly write-from-home, I’m going to need to start seeing daylight hours more frequently.

    The plus side is that I’ve finally taught myself to take better indoor photos. 🙂

    PS, anyone who has Music Choice — look for the Sounds of the Season channel. Endless cheesy Halloween goodness.

  24. ozma says:

    got in from teh store, i saw the three monster cereals but no halloween crunch 🙁 i did find halloween peeps and the oreos though yay

  25. Syrin of Halloween says:

    “I feel like four lights-era Picard.” I truly want to use this quote more often in my daily life now.

    But even on the box the Hostess cupcakes look more yellow than orange, so I don’t think it’s just the age causing that discoloration . . . how hard is it for them to make actual orange-colored frosting?

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