When You Care Enough to Give the Very Worst
Candy can be a beautiful thing, but throw Valentine's Day into the equation and suddenly every candy company unloads the kitschiest, tackiest, most undelicious confection onto the shelves. Sometimes it's the thought that counts, but other times, it's just a waste of perfectly good sugarand, potentially, a relationship killer. We went on a hunt to find the best of the worst so you could see how bad it really is out there.
Worst Disney Character On a Stick
Add this to the nauseating marshmallow lollipop genre, except ... wait. Serious Eats intern Emily Koh—who probably loves Disneyland and Thunder Mountain and Minnie deep down—wanted no part in the taste-test. And who can blame her? The confection had all the, ahem, subtle aroma of undiluted lemon-scented floor cleaner. Disney should really get a grip on brand image.
Worst Lollipop with Hooves
Pigs are delicious. Serious Eats is no stranger to that concept. Pigs can even be cute. But here, this pig is an absolute sham. A pig gone to waste, a pig made of ambiguous fruit-flavored marshmallow instead of actual greasy swine. The pink creature looks much too joyous with his squinty eyes; doesn't he see the madness?!
Note to candy companies: Make an actual bacon lollipop next year.
Worst Chocolates with Paws
Two-way tie for the "Stick E. Fingers" raccoon and "Pup E Dawg" canine, both in hollow milk chocolate form. Both horrible puns and both horrible, cheap chocolates. At least it's hollow—save yourself a few bites of these ruined mammals.
Worst Wannabe Hip Chocolates
Russell Stover has been around since the 1920s but is clearly undergoing a midlife crisis. It forgoes its iconic box with the usual script lettering in favor of an artsy city skyline and flashy line-up of flavors. Key lime, sea salt soft caramel, grapefruit ganache, espresso truffle, 60% cacao dark (from Ghana, they'd like to remind you), and pistachio nougatine. We appreciate the effort, but c'mon, Russell Stover, play the three-buck drugstore chocolate shtick. That's what you're good at.
Worst Use of $50 and Three Pounds
The cocoa moguls at Hershey are so into themselves that they needed to create a massive, ridiculous glob of chocolate. Apparently if you go any smaller, you don't actually love your valentine.
Worst Human Organ in Gummy Form
With all the cutesy heart-shaped candies, this one is pretty hardcore. It's actually shaped like an anatomically correct human heart! If only ours were actually made of sickeningly-sweet artificial strawberry flavorings.
Worst Abuse of a Teddy Bear
The brown fuzzball sure doesn't look happy. In fact, he looks tortured. He knows this is a sub-par excuse for Valentine's Day and probably feels bad for the recipient. Instead of saying "I Love You," it says, "I Screwed Up and Waited till the Last Minute. And Now You Probably Hate Me."