If you've ever enjoyed the perfect sweet-sour balance of a Lemonhead or the addictive crunch of a Red Hot, you'll be happy to know you've been eating locally this whole time (good job, you trendy locavores). Ferrara Pan Candy Company, the makers of Lemonheads and Red Hots among other classics, dates back to 1908 when Salvatore Ferrara opened a confectionery store right here in Chicago. So instead of dropping by Walgreens to pick up that tired old bag of Fun Sized Snickers this year, consider taking a trip out to the Ferrara Pan Outlet, which is located at their factory in Forest Park (the factory was moved to the outskirts of the city in the decades after its inception).
Why would you want to go out of the city to get your Halloween candy? First of all, this outlet is no-frills and it shows in the price of the candy: 25 cents per mini box of Lemonheads. Second of all, what other house is going to be giving out these classic candies rooted in Chicago history? None, that's right. And yes, I just made handing out Halloween candy into a competition.
We recently tried all of the classic candy available at the Ferrara Pan Outlet and broke things down into three categories: candy for your favorite, most creative trick-or-treaters; candy for the kids you don't have anything against but who clearly didn't put much effort into their costumes; and candy for the kids who are so obnoxious you'd just rather they skip your house next year. Candy is nothing but a reward (or a punishment in some cases), so let's treat it honestly this Halloween. Click through the slideshow to see all of the candy we tried or check out the list below for individual picks.
Candy for Your Favorite, Most Creative Trick-Or-Treaters:
Candy for the Kids You Don't Have Anything Against But Who Clearly Didn't Put Much Effort into Their Costumes:
- Orange Slices
- Spice Dots
- Chewy Lemonheads & Friends
- Tropical Chewy Lemonheads & Friends
- Boston Baked Beans
Candy for the Kids Who Are So Obnoxious You'd Just Rather They Skip Your House Next Year:
- Spearmint Leaves
- Jelly Rings
- Gum Drops
- Redhead Chewy Lemonheads & Friends
- Berry Chewy Lemonheads & Friends
- Jaw Busters
Where Are the Atomic Fireballs?
Why were Atomic Fireballs left off the list? When Nick visited the factory, he asked for one of each kind of candy. But when we looked through the bag latter in the evening, we realized that they must have been accidentally left out. We attempted to correct this mistake, but tracking down Atomic Fireballs was much harder than we realized. After visiting Walgreens, CVS, Target, Dollar Tree, Strack and Van Til, and even a Mexican candy store, we gave up. We encountered Lemonheads and other selections from the Ferrara Pan lineup along the way, but not Atomic Fireballs. What happened to them?