Candy a Day: Airheads

Editor's note: Every day in October, the Serious Eats editors and staff will chat about a candy they loved as kids (or love today). Artificial colors encouraged, no organic chocolate allowed.


[Photo: Alice Gao]

My two least favorite foods as a kid were chocolate and peanut butter—which was enough to mark me as a freak in elementary school. (I was "the girl who doesn't like chocolate" as much as other kids were "the guy whose parents raise chickens" or "the girl who faints in gym class.")

But I used it to my advantage come Halloween, when half my haul was chocolate I didn't want—major currency on post-trick-or-treating candy market. I knew the other kids wanted my Snickers and Reeses, so I'd only part with them on very favorable terms. And that usually ended with me getting a bag full of Airheads.

Why were Airheads my candy of choice?

There's the texture, for one, delightfully chewy but not jaw-breaking. More pliable than Now & Laters but still too thick to just chomp down, they had some longevity but wouldn't pull off your braces. They're weirdly slick but end up a little bit grainy as you chew them, in a way I actually find really appealing. Despite being mostly sugar, they didn't taste like it; most of the flavors were at least a little bit tart. They were in great flavors like cherry and blue raspberry—and then, of course, there's the White Mystery. What flavor was it? Were they all the same? Was it one of the existing flavors or something else altogether?

It's the sort of thing that as an *ahem* professional, I should take the time to figure out, but even an informal survey of the Serious Eats office brought about no consensus. Tell us—what do you think is the White Mystery? We're going to have to get our hands on a few more to figure out our official stance.