Just in time for Halloween, this year's edition of the Candy Hierarchy has been published by BoingBoing. Here's an extract.
Presented within is the newly reformulated Ng and Cohen Candy Hierarchy, which aims to rank Halloween candy received during trick or treating. This version is seen as an improvement of the 2010 edition, which culled massive peer review in the form of several hundred comments.
Like before, we placed a high value on this process, as past attempts had produced noteworthy revelations, including establishment of reference samples, hereafter termed index candies, as well as the discovery of the importance of caramel in defining the upper tiers.
In its previous form, we were hopeful that some of the new potential advances in the hierarchy would be due to evaluating context setting. In our last report, we had suggested that "rarely in practice do eaters eat just one piece of candy. Anecdotal evidence indicates that, in general, eaters throw multiple pieces of Halloween candy down their gullets. (When so much is being eaten, research shows the Pelican-gullet-eating-fish imagery is apt.) It thus matters which are eaten earlier and which later. Some tests, for example, indicate that you can only consume so many premier grade chocolate based candies before you need the zip or zing of a Spree or a Smarty to 'cleanse the pallet'."
Indeed, from our data, we found that context was key. Perhaps most significant were frameworks that revolved around the geography of palates. Specifically, it was noted that there was a strong North American bias, which often led to heated disagreement. In light of this, we strongly suggest a parallel attempt at defining a Sweets Hierarchy to further explore global preferences.
There's more at the link, including the full 2011 Candy Hierarchy. It's good for a laugh - and for ideas on what (or what not) to buy next Halloween.