So tonight is Halloween. And while there are plenty of bars and restaurants out there doing cool stuff for those of you who find yourselves too old to reasonably go door-to-door begging for candy and yet still unencumbered by children, there are still plenty of you out there who will be wandering the neighborhoods this evening knocking on doors and collecting sugary goodness (again, hopefully with your children in tow).
It is for you that the right honorable messrs. Ng and Cohen have developed, over the course of several years, the Candy Hierarchy–a peer-reviewed and exhaustively researched chart describing the “systematics that define a candy taxonomy in order of desirability and with the expressed idea of maximizing…joy.”
Here, the authors on their project:
The Candy Hierarchy has been a work in progress since 2006 when initiated by B.R. Cohen, an environmental historian over at Lafayette College, and has since been published in a variety of venues. In 2010, with collaboration from David Ng, a geneticist based at the University of British Columbia, the hierarchy established an exclusive relationship with the highly reputable journal Boing Boing. This then allowed a significant increase in feedback from the peer review community due to the journal’s high citation index.
All joking aside, the Candy Hierarchy is kind of awesome and has been updated each year with new findings and new categories describing, for example, how and why Junior Mints are better than Three Musketeers bars (agreed) or why candy corn appears in the bottom tier of possible Halloween treats (which I STRONGLY disagree with, except in that candy corn given loose to children on Halloween is a near-guarantee that the person doing the giving is a creep who has poisoned them in some way).
Anyway, the Hierarchy is too long to reproduce here in all its scientific glory, but I’ve included a handy link for those of you who want to know just exactly how fortunate or screwed you’re going to be tonight, or where the candy you’re planning on handing out falls on the chart.
The Ng and Cohen Candy Hierarchy [Boing Boing]