April 2, 2021 | Number of The Day
Black licorice, the favorite jellybean of New Jerseyans

Given the sort of year we’re having, it’s no surprise — and nothing to be ashamed of — if you find yourself craving the instant gratification of empty calories. And what better way to indulge that appetite than with an Easter basket, a failsafe delivery mechanism for cavity-inducing confections.

But grabbing willy-nilly at pastel-tinted candy and bulky bunnies leaves too much to chance. As in past years we’ve turned to the folks at Candy Store.com, purveyors of “beautiful bulk candy in every color” for their consumer poll of the 10 worst Easter candies.

But before we turn to the losers, here’s a trio of winners to keep in mind when you’re stocking your basket — New Jersey’s three top choices in jellybeans: black licorice, peach and cherry. So don’t try to nest any cantaloupe, crushed pineapple or kiwi jellybeans in that green plastic grass.

The best of the worst (in 10th place): generic jellybeans. Quoth the candy mavens: “The days where you could plop any old jellybean down into the grassy Easter basket might be gone.” In the ninth slot: chocolate crosses. Chocolate crucifixes is a more accurate moniker, and while we find these in bad taste (pun intended), they’ve actually become less unpopular in the past year. Marshmallow chicks and rabbits, apparently dyed with dayglo food coloring, are up next, with Easter candy corn taking the 7th slot. Yes, the reliable staple of Halloween puts in an appearance, appropriately decked out in spring colors. Peeps, the yellow and pink marshmallow chicks that figuratively shout out “Easter!” have fallen from last year’s second place to sixth. We conjecture the Peeps and Pepsi flavor introduced by the soft drink giant may have contributed to Peeps’ newfound popularity.

Two more hybrids take fifth and fourth place, respectively: Oreo Creme Eggs and Cheetos Sweetos Cinnamon Puffs. Solid chocolate bunnies make the worst-of list for being too much of a good thing: “It’s demoralizing. Here’s this giant, dense brick of chocolate.” The second spot goes to the awful-to-imagine Sour Patch Kids White Chocolate Bunny, “So vile that they jumped all the way up to No. 2 on the list in their very first year.”

And the perennial holder of the top spot for worst Easter candy: Cadbury Creme Eggs. If the chocolate shell remains firm, it’s possible to consume one without increasing your dry-cleaning bill. But once the egg softens, as it might, say, if you were holding it in your hand, it collapses — and you’re left cupping a handful of warm goo.

One more thing: If the Easter Bunny drops by your place to deliver your basket, remember: mask up, maintain social distance.