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by Daniel Walker
The larger-than-life characters on screen, the visual effects, the thundering sound system…all part of what makes the movie theater experience so wonderful. But any movie-goer will readily admit that nothing is more gratifying that kicking back to watch your chosen flick with something tasty to snack on. Sweet treats are a staple in any movie theater—and while popcorn and a Coke are equally important, something chewy, sour, sugary and chocolatey is never a bad idea. Here’s our favorite movie theater sweets…just in time for all those summer blockbusters. Have you tried them all?
M&M’s: Classic, bite-sized, simple, and tasty. Without a doubt, M&M’s will be one of America’s favorite snacks for generations to come. How can you go wrong with chocolate wrapped in a crunch candy shell? Well…you can’t. And while there are now dozens of varieties of this classic candy, we think that picking up some peanut M&M’s for the theater is the best way to go.
Red Vines: Less waxy and softer than its greatest competitor, Twizzlers, Red Vines provide the eater inch after inch of sweet and twisted snacking. Red vines are excellent for munching on slowly, taking your time to enjoy.
Sour Patch Kids: Their sour punch is always a nice contrast to anything salty or crunchy you may be snacking on in the theater. Sure, they’re fairly chewy and you may find yourself having to use your tongue to work them out of your teeth now and then, but they’re always worth considering in your snack food arsenal.
Cookie Dough Bites: One of those rare treats that most of us only see in the movie theater. And for that reason, they are probably worth picking up during your film. Of course, it’s nothing like scarfing down ACTUAL cookie dough, but it gets the job done.
Swedish Fish: They’re colorful and fruity, they’re soft and chewy. They come in a variety of flavors–lime, orange, cherry, and lemon—but just throw them all in your mouth together and enjoy the fiesta of flavor going on inside. And if you’re lucky enough to score the “jumbo fish”…consider yourself lucky. They’re always a mouthful of fun.
Sno Caps: These semi-sweet chocolate nonpareils aren’t complicated, but the contrast of bittersweet chocolate and crunchy white sprinkles make them something I can’t pass up any time I run across them.
Dots: I’ll openly admit, I have a real soft spot for Dots. I know they are not the fanciest of candies, and they tend to be a little synthetic tasting, but I don’t care. Give me a box of these small, smooth candy domes of joy and I will put down the whole thing before we even get through the previews.
Hot Tamales: I can almost never sit down and enjoy an entire box of Hot Tamales alone. They’re a bit too intense for my liking, an overwhelming assault of cinnamon. But weave them into your entire movie candy repertoire—between popcorn, colas, and other candies—and they make for a nice change of pace you’ll enjoy throughout the show.
Whoppers: Malted milk just doesn’t get enough attention in this country any more. Gone are the days of the “malt shop” standing on every neighborhood corner. But you can still get your malted milk fix through these timeless treats. Just try to keep your crunching to a minimum so as not to disturb your fellow movie-watchers.
Junior Mints: Cool and refreshing, with a delicate chocolate coating and a creamy mint center. Savor the flavor, perhaps even let them melt in your mouth…and be sure to snag that last mint that always manages to cling to the bottom of the box.
Daniel Walker is a native of Salt Lake City, but has spent his last few years obsessing over food in Dallas and Little Rock. He currently writes for the Arkansas Times reviewing restaurants and contributing to the food blog “Eat Arkansas.”