Upon getting home from trick-or-treating, I would dump out the contents of my bag and revel in my hard-won booty. Of course the chocolate got eaten immediately, but the rest I would spread out and separate into piles according to the type: the ubiquitous black-and-orange- wrapped peanut butter candy (which always tasted as if it had been left over from last year), the coconut chicken stix, the candy pumpkins, the bubblegum balls, and even the odd piece of peppermint that the old folks gave, which you knew was because they forgot it was Halloween.
I would count the candy each day before school and then again when I got home, to see how much my Mom snitched during the day. And that candy lasted me for weeks. I would hoard it, rationing out only a few pieces from each pile a day, in order to make it last. I sometimes had candy remaining at Thanksgiving. I didn't get much the rest of the year, and this pile of treasure was, well, treasured. I would take some and eat it ceremonially while staying up late on Saturday to watch the local version of Creature Feature.
Of course this irritated my parents to no end, and I would stalk around with the vampire lips and teeth threatening the family dog (for lack of siblings) for awhile before the slobber got too drippy. Then, and only, then could the ritual be completed and the wax chewed. And back then, it was good and sweet. Today's wax lips and teeth are tasteless and crumbly affairs.
I got into trouble once by leaving a pair of teeth on the back of the family car's rear window and forgetting them. The sunlight melted them into a waxy spot that stayed till they traded it in. After that I left them in my pants, to be melted by the washing and drying process, which led to more punishment. I learned to just eat them and not try to make them last like the other candy. Like the perishable manna of Old Testament fame, some Halloween candy was best consumed immediately.
Now, Halloween candy is more than just individually-wrapped bite-sized versions of your everyday sweet stuff repackaged for the season. Good Halloween candy is all about concept and attitude. And one of the all-time greats, when you consider the idea, the packaging artwork and the flavor, is "Skull Crushers."
Now, let it be known that I had never truly grown up. Sure, I do adult things and have adult responsibilities, but if you cut me open you'd find that 12 year old boy I once was, reading a comic with one hand and operating the controls with the other, balancing a blue creme soda between his legs. I was in my 20's when I came upon Skull Crushers, but I still was intrigued upon seeing them in the early 80's at a convenience store.
It was white chocolate in the shape of a skull that contained red respberry jelly filling. When you bit it or broke it open, the tasty gore bled forth! And not only that, but they tasted great! After eating what I had, I went back, and bought the remainder of the box.
The candy didn't last long, but I kept the box for the cool artwork. When I read the Halloween candy blog post over on Zombo's site, it made me think of this old favorite. I dug through my collection bookcase (a fun but slow process in itself) to find it and post it here for enjoyment by like-minded people. Only a few would probably appreciate it, but that's what blogs are for, aren't they?
When I did a Google search to see if anyone else remembered them, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is still being manufactured! And with spiffy new artwork. I plan on ordering a box soon.
Here are some links to places you can get Skull Crushers and other fun stuff:
http://www.sweetstall.com/acatalog/Chocolate.html http://www.retrotuckshopsweetsdirect.co.uk/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=78 http://www.sweetsncandy.co.uk/proddetail.asp?prod=SKUCRU080
Apparently other candy companies make their kinds of candy skulls, as seen above. You can buy them in bulk if you have a sweet tooth for candy cannibalism.
Stop the presses! Or servers, or whatever! UPDATE: Now you can make your OWN Skull Crushers at home!
Now, these look tasty. Maggot candy... where was THIS when I was a kid?
But when it comes to skull-eating, Mexico has it all over the U.S. Made all over the country and sold in every town and village to celebrate "the Day of the Dead," these sugar skulls have been a traditional holiday treat for many years. In "The Halloween Tree," Ray Bradbury brought the practice into American homes for the first time for many readers.
"Sweet skulls, sweet skulls, crystal sugar candy skulls. Tell me your name, I'll give you a skull." -Mr. Moundshroud. It was this very line that inspired the name of this site.
Learn how to make your own sugar skulls here. The photo below comes from that blog.