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Round 1: Frango Mints or Tootsie Rolls? Butterfinger or Baby Ruth? Vote for Your Favorite Candy!

Meredith Francis
A graphic depicting a bracket competition between candy with connections to Chicago

Chicago Stories: Candy Capital premieres on Friday, October 27 at 8:00 pm on WTTW and streaming on the PBS app and

Ahead of the premiere of Chicago Stories: Candy Capital and Halloween, we thought we’d stir up a little healthy competition. What is Chicago’s favorite candy? Do you opt for the chewy, like Tootsie Rolls or Laffy Taffy? Or do you prefer the classics, like Snickers or Butterfinger? Where do you stand on the often-polarizing candy corn?

The candy featured in this competition all has a Chicago connection: It was either born here, made here, or is inextricably linked with famous Chicago institutions (lookin’ at you, Frango Mints!). 

Vote in the Final Round now!

Round 1: Voting is now closed.

Round 2: Voting will begin on Wednesday, October 25 and will end on Thursday, October 26 at 3:00 pm.

Final Round: Voting will begin on Friday, October 27, and will end on Sunday, October 29 at midnight. We'll announce the winner on Monday, October 30!

Our first matchup: Laffy Taffy vs. Brach’s Candy Corn. The Ferrara Candy Company, which makes the colorful and chewy Laffy Taffy, was first founded as a small Little Italy bakery in Chicago just after the turn of the century. Brach’s, which still makes candy corn and other sweets today, began in 1904 as Brach’s Palace of Sweets on North Avenue.

Our second matchup: Baby Ruth vs. Butterfinger. Both Baby Ruth and Butterfinger originally come from the Curtiss Candy Company, which opened in the back of a plumbing shop on Halsted Street in 1916.

Our third match-up: Milky Way vs. Snickers. Both Milky Way and Snickers were concocted by Mars, Inc. father-son duo Frank and Forrest Mars (before they went their separate ways after some family drama). The company, which was originally based in Minneapolis before moving to Chicago’s West Side, also cooked up the 3 Musketeers bar, and Forrest Mars later created M&Ms.

Our fourth match-up: Frango Mints vs. Tootsie Rolls. Frango Mints were actually first created not as a candy, but as a frozen custard-like dessert at a Seattle department store. Marshall Field’s later bought that store – as well as the rights to the term Frango, which was later reimagined at the flagship State Street store as a minty, chocolate truffle. Tootsie Rolls were first made in Brooklyn, but the company moved its operation to a former World War II bomber factory in Chicago in the 1960s. They are still made in Chicago today!