Look to our regular feature (Un)sound Bites for rants, and possibly even raves, on dining in Dallas.
I feel conflicted about taking my kids to raid the more affluent ZIP codes every Halloween. On one hand, I'd like to keep them close to home and take the rare opportunity to actually socialize with neighbors I hardly ever see. On the other hand, though, I want my kids to take home the maximum amount of chocolate possible.
This year, we tried to do both. My kids (Iris, 11, and Lyle, 6) and I started out on our own drive in South Oak Cliff, and then ventured north to the swankier Kessler Heights neighborhood. So did conventional wisdom—that richer streets give out better candy—hold true?
It quickly became apparent that ours is not a Halloween destination street. Of the six doors my kids visited, only two answered. One of our neighbors has a home baking business, Cheryl's Tea Cakes. She gave each kid three individually wrapped samples (like big, fluffy cinnamon-sugar butter cookies, except not as sweet) and a piece of fruit. Another neighbor handed out a couple of the small Tootsie Rolls. Sort of a ‘hit and miss’ experience.
Then off to Kessler Park where conventional wisdom held true. The best candy does indeed come from the best neighborhoods—Star Crunch cookies from Little Debbie, Stretch Island Fruit Leather, that sort of thing—with a couple caveats. One rich neighborhood home had an enormous inflatable red devil on the second-floor balcony. On the front porch of another, a teenage kid sat in a mirrored trick box that made it look like he was missing the entire lower half of his body. So here’s caveat number one: these houses must have blown their Halloween budget on the décor; the candies they handed out were generally fun-sized.
The second? Don't turn your back on your own neighbors, especially if one of them happens to be a professional baker.
But don’t take my word for it:
What about the fruit? Don't you think it's weird to give out fruit on Halloween? Iris: I think fruit is a good idea. It would be cool if they just had like booths that gave out your favorite fruit, and they just gave it to you. You don't want to get chubby by Christmas. But you gotta have candy! But it would be a bad idea to just give out fruit you don't like. Like, I don't like bananas.
What was the weirdest thing anyone gave out? Iris: That stretched-out fruit [Fruit Leather]. But I liked it. Actually, that was one of the best things.
What was the worst thing? Iris: I like crunchy, but [Nestle] Crunch is too crunchy! So that's why you offered Lyle your Crunch bar when he hurt himself? Yeah.
What was the worst thing? Lyle: Those cookies. I haven't ate them yet.
You mean the tea cakes? Those are good! Lyle: They are? I'll try it when we get home.
Iris' Favorite Halloween Treats Butterfinger Twix Star Crunch M&M's Snickers
Lyle's Favorite Halloween Treats Chocolate candy bars Fruit Gummi stuff. Peanut butter with chocolate Chocolate heads. [He later admitted that nobody gave him a chocolate head]
Lyle's Hypothetical Least Favorite Halloween Handouts Poop Barf 2,000 Fruit Roll-Ups. That would be too much Giant bodies that are chocolate. I couldn't eat that much A brick A floor The United States all in chocolate --Jesse Hughey