Published on July 15th, 2019 | by Candace Simpson
The Top Five Church Candies, Definitively Ranked By An Expert
I was visiting a church where a friend was preaching. Though I’ve been in church all my life (actually, since before I officially arrived to Earth as my own independent being), I get nervous when I visit new churches. As much as Church feels like home, being in a new place always rises my heart rate. Will I hear something in the pulpit that is anti-Black, homophobic, or sexist? Will someone make an inappropriate comment about my hair or body? Are the people here really welcoming? What do we do when it comes time for offering? Am I supposed to stand now?
A woman with beautiful golden lipstick and the most fabulous mud cloth wrap tapped me on my shoulder. In her ring-filled hand was an assortment of candies. I turned around and smiled at her.
“Wow, thank you!”
“You’re welcome, baby,” she whispered. “Take it all, pass it down.”
And boom. Church candy had made her unassuming yet radical entrance. Sharing candy is an act of hospitality. When lovingly offered by strangers, this act helps create community. It softens our faces, relaxes our hearts, and reminds us that we can breathe. When someone gives us candy, they are acknowledging our presence. At its best, this is the people’s communion. It is a reminder that the most radical thing we can do in worship is acknowledge that other people are here among us who also have needs.
So below, in honor of all the church ladies who carry sweets for the rest of us, I have ranked the top five church candies. These are ranked through a scientific and highly-objective process. Don’t ask how I came to it, just know that I am an expert. I have almost 30 years of church candy experience.
This particular candy might not make it to everyone’s list, but it makes it to mine. This is a candy that has multiple uses. If you have to sing a solo unexpectedly, you can dramatically eat one as you throw a scarf around your neck. This is the kind of candy you eat when someone asks “can I get you hot water or tea” before you minister in word, song, or even dance. This candy is doubly-wrapped and enclosed in twisty paper, so make sure to be a good steward of the trash it creates.
4. Soft peppermint 
This candy gets overlooked often because it doesn’t have staying power. Soft peppermints quickly dissolve in the mouth and turn into minty mush. These are good for long services when you need to pretend you’ve eaten something, as their quick descent into the stomach can trick the eater into believing that we are having a snack. Pro-Tip: Always eat breakfast on Communion Sunday.
3. Hard peppermint
It might be easy to lump this candy in with soft peppermint. However, church candy connoisseurs know better. Hard peppermint comes in discs and orbs. Sadly, the wrapping is incredibly loud and can distract the church clerk during announcements if you’re sitting in the first ten rows. This candy scores at 3, though, due to its staying power. You can have a peppermint ball for almost the length of two choir selections. Just be careful that you maneuver it well as its shape can present a choking habit. My scientific research compels me to remind people that we do not recommend having a peppermint ball when the choir sings “Even Me.” Get a peppermint disc for that.
Ginger is the unsung hero of the church candies. That’s because it doubles as medicine. Ginger is known to fight nausea and even help fight against the common cold. Ginger candies are the ginger ale of candies. They are delicious treats but also they have medicinal purposes. No matter how loud the wrapper is, you can always wave the candy and gesture to your stomach. Instant sympathy. No usher or pew neighbor will deny you your medicine.
1. Strawberry candy 
This is the holy grail of church candies. No one knows where to buy them or who manufactures them. They just show up in your purse. According to the ancient legend, when these candies show up in your purse, you’ve been initiated into the council of Church Mothers. The Church Mother Fairy blesses you when you’ve proven yourself worthy of the candy-sharing cause.
Honorable mention: Werther’s Original.
Candace Simpson is an educator, minister and writer. She believes that Heaven is a Revolution that can happen right here on Earth. She invites others into that philosophy at www.fishsandwichheaven.com.