Trick or treat: Raiding the Senate’s best hometown candy stashes

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) – This Halloween, “trick or treating” on Capitol Hill can yield a bounty better than any city street.

One-hundred senators and 435 House members travel from across America to work in Washington, DC. And with them, come some of the nation’s yummiest snacks, year-round.

Stumptown Coffee from Portland is served up in Sen. Jeff Merkley's D.C. office. (Photo credit: Chance Seales)
Stumptown Coffee from Portland is served up in Sen. Jeff Merkley’s D.C. office. (Photo credit: Chance Seales)

From sweet tea to Starbursts, on Capitol Hill you can find almost any geographically indigenous food. But, you have to know where to look. The products only show up in offices if they’re manufactured in the home district and/or state.

Georgia senators offer guests Coca-Cola, a nod to its Peach State origins. In Louisiana offices, pralines and chicory coffee are commonplace.

So, we decided to hit up some of the Hill’s best appointed offices to sample their delectable treats.

Sen. Ted Cruz stocks a whole fridge full of Dr. Pepper, straight from Texas. (Photo credit: Chance Seales)
Sen. Ted Cruz stocks a whole fridge full of Dr. Pepper, straight from Texas. (Photo credit: Chance Seales)

First up, Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Tex.) office. It’s flush with sweets. On the Hill, Cruz isn’t giving out wooden nickels; his is the full-Hershey-bar-house. Desks overflow with Snickers, Starbursts and Skittles. Frito-Lay’s Texas factory makes every chip imaginable, so Cheetos and Doritos are ripe for the munching.

Cruz’s pantry is also outfitted with a full-size Dr. Pepper refrigerator. The transparent door allows you to gaze upon the splendor of regular, diet and 10-calorie cans occupying its never-bare shelves.

Oregon offices mix it up. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) stocks tabletops with Craisins grown by Ocean Spray on the state’s coast. Down the hall, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) ships in Stumptown, Portland’s premiere coffee, to brew up before meetings.

Ohio Sens. Rob Portman (R) and Sherrod Brown (D) show bipartisan love for Dum-Dum lollipops. Manufactured in Ohio for decades, you can pick any flavor of the classic candy from heaping baskets in the senators’ front offices.

Heading south, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) proves that Virginia is for peanut lovers. In a state-shaped box on the foyer table, guests are encouraged to grab a packet of salted peanuts grown in Virginia. In a nearby fridge, Sabra hummus is also offered.

To finish off our Senate sugar tour, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) always has a pot of sweet tea ready for sipping. No Splenda here. But, plenty of southern comfort.

FYI: we hear Iowans have fresh popcorn. Expect us next year, senators.

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