It’s that time of year when the grocery store aisles are filled with dozens and dozens of different types of colorful treats.

Many people look forward to Easter candy. First of all, some of it is just really delicious. But there’s also the nostalgic aspect about it. Many of us remember getting Easter baskets filled with all sorts of goodies. That’s where many people developed their love and affection for particular types of candy.

This topic came up recently with a group of friends and I realized some folks are fiercely loyal to their favorite candy and judge harshly those who like certain other types.

So I got on social media and asked a general question: What’s your ride or die Easter candy? When you get an Easter basket, what MUST be in there?

And folks were only too eager to talk about it. I got dozens and dozens of responses in just a short period of time. So I added up the answers and I’ve compiled a list of the winners (and the losers). And I was really surprised by some of the results.

1. The winner, hands down, was the Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg. An overwhelming majority of people liked these. I personally don’t like them but these won by a landslide on my informal Facebook poll.

2. Coming in a close second were Cadbury Creme Eggs. I knew these milk chocolate shells around a soft fondant center were popular but I didn’t realize how extremely popular they were. Again, I’m not a fan but it seems like a ton of people are. Apparently a rabbit/chicken hybrid lays these eggs every Easter and people can’t get enough of them.

3. I was really surprised by a third place showing for Peeps. Now I love these sugar coated marshmallow rabbits and chickens but there are those who have a strong negative reaction to Peeps so I assumed they wouldn’t do well in the poll. Well I was wrong.

4. Jelly beans were next in line of popularity. There are all different brands that make jelly beans but it seemed like people really liked the Starburst jelly beans. So do I. The purple ones are my favorite.

5. A big surprise for me, and coming in fifth, was the hollow chocolate bunny. We’ve all seen these. They come in several sizes and they’re always on the store shelves and in Easter baskets. They’re iconic. BUT I didn’t think people actually sat down and ate them. I thought they were just for show.

6. Robin’s Eggs were next in popularity. I like them. They’re malted eggs with a speckled candy coat. And they’re delicious.

Those were the candies with the most votes. But there were a few honorable mentions. These got a handful of votes each ...

Mini Eggs — These are solid milk chocolate encased in a thin coating of hard candy shell molded to resemble a miniature egg.

Twix/Almond Joy/Reese’s Pieces — I wouldn’t consider these Easter candy per se just because they’re readily available all year long at most stores.

Marshmallow Eggs — These are my absolutely favorite Easter candy and people just don’t realize their deliciousness. They’re individually wrapped colorful eggs with a white sugary marshmallow inside. Only a couple of people said they liked these but they’re my favorite and I can’t find them anywhere. So if you find them somewhere, holler at me.

Bottle Caps — One single person named these and I’ve never even heard of them but I felt I should mention them.

I have to take a minute to mention a candy that is near and dear to my heart but one that seems to be universally HATED and it breaks my heart. I unapologetically love Circus Peanuts. It seems no one else loves these bright orange marshmallows shaped like peanuts that are essentially pure sugar and food coloring. But I do. My granny always had these at her house and I grew up eating them. No one seems to like them but everyone said their grandmother liked them. I guess that says a lot about me.

I hope y’all enjoy your Easter candy, whatever your favorite type might be. And I hope everyone gets an Easter basket filled with goodies they love because you’re never too old to get an Easter basket.

Severo Avila is Features Editor for the Rome News-Tribune.

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