Image by Chica and Jo via Flickr.
Image by Chica and Jo via Flickr.

Ah, candy corn: Halloween’s most controversial sweet.

Here’s why I love it: Seeing bags of this festive product on the shelves means my favorite season is nigh. Plus, the kernels sport a killer color combination…I mean, could they be more adorably autumnal?

But here’s why I don’t love it: The taste is the most blandly simplistic mix of pure corn syrup and vanilla extract. Yet the candy must be laced with some sort of amnesia-inducing drug, because every single fall I can’t recall how it tasted the year before…and I buy another bag.

Candy Corn Facts!

Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 12.36.28 PMCandy corn has been around for over 130 years. (That means it’s older than automobiles and radio, people.) Its corn shape made it easily associated with autumn and harvest, and by the early 1900s the candy was inextricably linked to our sugar-centric holiday, Halloween.

The official mass-production recipe for candy corn includes carnauba wax, the same substance pharmaceutical companies use to coat medicinal tablets to make them easy to swallow. This edible wax is also found in make-up products and furniture buffer.Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 2.22.54 AM

Today, Brach’s is the most prolific manufacturer of candy corn (though the original 1880s creator was Wunderle Candy). However, Jelly Belly actually has the longest history in the candy corn industry; under its former name Goelitz, it began mass production of the stuff back in 1900.

Early candy corn was made by hand via a painstaking 24-hour process. And each step took three passes (one for each color layer)!

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 2.09.08 AM

In the 1900s, candy corn was referred to by the rather unappetizing name of “Chicken Feed.”

In one of his stand-up routines, comedian Lewis Black rails on the tri-colored triangles. “All the candy corn that was ever made was made in 1911,” he says.

According to a 2015 study, candy corn was voted the Best Halloween Candy in 5 states–Texas, Oregon, Wyoming, Tennessee, and South Carolina–so if you like it, you’re definitely not alone.

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Wow, for someone who feels pretty lukewarm about this product, I just devoted a lot of typing to it. How do YOU feel about candy corn?? VOTE here.

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Image by Influenster.
Image by Influenster.
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3 thoughts on “Candy Kernels

  1. AHAHAHAHA!!!…amnesia.. : D
    yeah, i hear ya. i do kinda like the Brach’s version. i have tried some different companies that were totally horrible. i think in this case, it;s true about a name brand being better.

    & that pic IS a great find. like a set of pumpkin dentures!!!..<3

  2. I used to love candy corn,and I still don’t mind it,but I guess I’ve reached the age where I just don’t crave it.Or I’m annoyed at how the bags of it keep shrinking while the price goes up.

    I could never,ever understand people giving out Smarties and Sweet Tarts on Halloween,though.I used to groan every time someone dropped a roll of Smarties into my plastic jack-o-lantern.YUCK.

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