2020’s Best Halloween Junk Food, Part 2!

Time for the second edition of 2020’s Best Halloween Junk Food! If you missed the first one, it’s over here.

Given how much the real world sucks, it’s been a surprisingly strong year for Halloween snacks. All we need is for one fast food giant to roll the dice on a spooky promotion, and 2020 will have finally found something it’s still pretty good at.

Below: Five more things you should be eating and drinking, preferably under moonlight while wearing one of those cheap Halloween throw blankets like a cape.

Mountain Dew VooDew II!
(Found at: Speedway)

Many are saying that Mountain Dew VooDew II tastes exactly the same as last year’s version, but I disagree. It’s similar, but for me it’s like they took last year’s and added a splash of tonic water. I’m all about that bitter aftertaste, so I might dig this sequel even more.

The original tasted like straight-up Skittles, but according to Mountain Dew, the flavor was supposed to be candy corn. We won’t know what they intended for VooDew II until Halloween, but I’m sticking with my original guess: Caramel Apple. It doesn’t really taste like that, but especially considering the label colors, I think it’s what they aimed for.

(The most common flavor guess is Skittles, even if it’d be a touch weird for them to do a Skittles soda on purpose after doing one accidentally last year. That said, the label colors do line up nicely with classic Skittles colors, so it’s certainly in contention!)

GRADE: A. It would’ve been better had the flavor starkly contrasted with last year’s, but it’s still a soda fronted by a grim reaper. I pray that VooDew continues on as an annual tradition, until that reaper finally runs out of fingers and has to pull one of his feet into frame.

Haribo Scaremix!
(Found at: Walgreens)

Haribo already had these shapes in their collection, but they’ve reworked ’em for Halloween. The cola bottles now taste like blood orange soda, and the old “friendship rings” are now Dracula rings. (The bears are still bears.)

Taken at face value, it’s an unbelievably incongruous mix that invites so much questioning. Cola bottles, cherries and teensy bears don’t exactly scream “Halloween,” after all. I’ve decided that they’re ingredients for a terrible spell, meant to be served out of some five-inch plastic cauldron.

Imagine waltzing up to party guests and breaking out your witch impression! “TOIL AND TROUBLE, MAY I INTEREST YOU IN DISSONANT GUMMI RUBBLE?”

GRADE: B+. It’s too bizarre to hate.

Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme Fangs!
(Found at: Target)

This has gotta be Hershey’s best Halloween season ever, right? Franken-Cups, Vampire Kisses, Witch’s Brew Kit Kats AND these, all debuting in the same year? That’s wild. I’d tip my hat if I had the right head shape to wear one.

While Cookies ‘n’ Creme Fangs might seem like Hershey’s least-interesting new offering on paper, the candies overachieve with a great flavor, a nicely pronounced “fang” design, and LITERALLY TWO THOUSAND COOKIE BITS in every single piece.

Like holy shit, I was NOT expecting that flood of cookie crumbles on the candies’ undersides. And all of them are like that! It’s like someone high up at Hershey’s saw the muffin scene from Casino and knew Ace was right.

GRADE: A-. Don’t sleep on these. As much as I like them, I feel like they will be here for one season and then gone forever.

Pirate’s Booty Boos & Bites!
(Found at: Target)

Pirate’s Booty has done some light Halloween stuff in years past, but I think this marks the first time they’ve taken a serious swing. “Boos & Bites” come shaped like ghosts and “monster teeth.” The teeth more closely resemble rings of fried calamari, but I appreciate the effort.

Bonus points: They market Pirate’s Booty as a not-too-junky junk food, so even though I’m essentially eating Cheetos, I can plow through a bag without immediately penning a sad diary entry about how I’m “starting fresh tomorrow.”

GRADE: B. It’s a solid choice if you want something “thematic” without going full-tilt on the sugar and fat. Just watch the roof of your mouth, because this shit will shred through it like cheesy Ginsus.

Orange Glitter Syrup!
(Found at: Walmart)

Wow, this was a nice surprise! Sold exclusively at Walmart, I didn’t see much “glitter” in this goop, but it’s still very orange, with a flavor to match. (I’d liken the taste to an orange creamsicle.)

Consider it an excuse to turn pancakes or waffles into a Halloween event. IMO, stuff like that is what makes this season so special. It’s the opportunity to make “plain” activities into something bigger. Throwing regular syrup on waffles? That’s just me being hungry. Orange syrup? I’m goddamned Jack Skellington, juggling severed heads or whatever.

GRADE: A. Strong stuff for a “bargain brand,” and while sickly sweet, the flavor worked soooo well with waffles.

Thanks for reading! I’ll be back soon with Part 3. Go eat some fun garbage while you wait.