I’ll eat pretty much anything they serve at a movie theater. I love an Icee — cherry or Coke flavor. I’ll devour an entire bag of popcorn before the previews start rolling. Giant pretzel? Twizzlers? Nachos with unearthly artificial cheese? Yes, yes, and yes. One time, when I was really hungry, I even ate a movie theater hot dog. But I never eat Sno-Caps. Ever. They are the worst of the worst of movie theater concessions.

Sno-Caps, if you have been fortunate enough to avoid them in your life, are described on their box as “semi-sweet chocolate nonpareils.” Nonpareils are the little white sugar balls on top. Especially in the dark of a movie theater, they give these little chocolate mounds appearance of a tiny, snow-covered mountain — hence Sno-Cap. I will concede that the name is mildly clever.

Any affection I have towards this candy ends there. Right off the bat there’s a problem: By their own admission, Sno-Caps are made of “semi-sweet” chocolate. They are as advertised. The chocolate isn’t sweet or rich or creamy. The nonpareils add nothing to the flavor and give the whole experience a gritty, off-putting texture. Pop a bunch in your mouth at once, and it feels like you’re chewing a handful of mud that’s been coated with sand.

Sno-Caps are one of the oldest candy brands in America. According to Wikipedia (which is never wrong), they were developed in the 1920s by the Blumenthal Chocolate Company. Blumenthal, along with its various candies, passed from one corporate entity to the next throughout the 20th century, until it finally landed at Nestlé in the mid-1980s. They continue to manufacture the product to this day.

I’m sure Sno-Caps were a groundbreaking food for the 1920s. 100 years later, we can do better. (A few of the other “hot” candies people thought were good in the 1920s: Mary Jane, Bit-O-Honey, and Abba-Zaba. Please note that none of these are still stocked at multiplex concession stands.) I suppose Nestlé  could theoretically update Sno-Caps’ quality to bring them more in line with modern standards, but thus far they haven’t. Pretty much any of the other candies sold at the movie theater offer a better tasting chocolate without the “bonus” of those little edible packing peanuts on top.

Some boxes of Sno-Caps announce that they are “Still 25% Less Fat” than “the leading chocolate brands.” (Note the implication — on the candy’s own packaging! — that Sno-Caps themselves are not one of the leading chocolate brands.) Even if that is true, it still makes Sno-Caps a poor deal. You get 25% less fat and at least 80% less taste. Would you rather eat 75 calories you won’t enjoy or 100 calories you will? That’s an easy choice.

Clearly someone must be eating Sno-Caps; no theater would continue to stock them for decades if the boxes didn’t sell. I’m sure after I publish this article, I will hear from Sno-Caps devotees who are furious that I would dare to remind them that they are fans of a gross food. So I want to conclude by stating for the record I am not writing this to shame anyone who likes Sno-Caps. If you enjoy them, that’s wonderful. That said: Are you aware they sell other candies? There are good ones out there and they don’t all have the texture of clumpy sandpaper. You should try them sometime.

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