The data presented below were first published after Halloween in 2006, here at The World’s Fair. After further (non-anonymous) peer review, we pushed into the second phase of the research in 2007, as published here. We are proud to acknowledge that these earlier efforts–pilot studies, both–led to further funding. We’ve now been able to pursue the third phase of the work. Difficult work, yes. Labor-intensive, to be sure. Gut-wrenching, perhaps. But huge breakthroughs were in the offing. The hierarchy below includes the results of our continuing work.
To re-repeat our earlier claims to the report: this taxonomy is based on (even more) years of research and debate, on thorough testing and re-testing, on statistical comparison and quality measurement, on focus group testing, and on a series of FTIR scans that reveal various hydrocarbon peaks and whatnot.
The breakthrough news today is this: our biggest discovery this year was a new differentiation between the TOP and SECOND tiers. Weaker data analysis techniques earlier in the project had presented a distinct bi-modal cut, and we had — erroneously, it turns out — considered this an indication of two clear tiers. We were wrong. Further analysis, inspired by an outside consultant, showed that what we had considered one tier, the TOP-exclusively-chocolate-based-TIER, was actually two layers globbed together. The true TOP TIER is in fact a caramel-based layer. The exclusively chocolate-based tier (formerly TOP, and actually not even exclusively chocolate-based then, so what the hell) is lower. My hunch is that the caramel was just stuck to the other layer in earlier years, and we didn’t notice. So we’ve acknowledged and added a new layer to the hierarchy. That should once and for all settle any disputes.
Also note the discovery last year, even if not as impressive, of the identity of Baby Ruth’s place, which, as one reviewer saw it, “would appear to be the earliest surviving example of the evolutionary transition from the crunchy/chewy to the the dominant chocolate realm.”
We also ask that readers recall the international controversy with the classification system over the last year. There were some troubling tensions in standards across borders and we’re not afraid to blame the Europeans. For example, a team of Danish researchers, no doubt reading Kierkegaard in the shadow of Elsinore with windmills nearby, attempted to convince the academy that so-called “Super Piratos” deserved placement. This was rejected on appeal by a panel of experts playing Foosball in the break room at the National Academies. Just let’s thank god the Aussies didn’t chime in about vegemite.
Enough preamble, then. To wit, the 2008 Candy Hierarchy:
Almond Joy — Candy Corn*** — Starburst
*These may be rolled to a friend.
** Whoppers blow.
*** Still no unanimous decision on the placement of Candy Corn, which as of 2006 remained unclassified, but as of 2007 had been tentatively placed in the Upper Chewy/Upper Devonian. 2008: no sighting.
**** Unless its something caramel, pronounced “caramel.”
*****Remains an outlier, since it is in no way “chewy.” Further studies have not resolved this inconsistency.