Monday, October 1, 2012

Day 31: A Word on Candy Corn.

Let the Countdown begin!!! Every day from here to Halloween I'll be trying to post something Halloween related until the Big Day arrives. It's also a part of the big communal blog-block-party Countdown to Halloween! So be sure to check out what everyone else is doing for their countdowns as well!

Now that October is here, I can finally share some of the great things I've found in the past weeks that I've been sitting on and waiting to post.

But today? Today I'm focusing on something we NEED to talk about:

Candy Corn.

Over at The Lair of the Dork Horde, Reis posted his Top 5 Halloween treats. What was numero uno?

Candy Corn.

This of course sparked a powder keg of debate (actually, is a handful of comments considered a powder keg? or even a debate? I'm not sure...) culminating with me leaving an ominous message that I would addressing the issue on my own blog during my October Countdown. So let's talk...

Candy Corn.

Learn More After the Jump.

Candy Corn, I am convinced, was set upon this earth to make stomach roil and my teeth ache. It's simultaneously waxy and gritty, and it's somehow ridiculously sweet while being otherwise flavorless.

This was meant to be a subtle metaphor.
What is candy corn? Wikipedia tell us: "Manufacturers first combined sugar, corn syrup, wax, and water and cooked them to form a slurry. Fondant was added for texture and marshmallows were added to provide a soft bite." It also wasn't eaten just around Halloween. There are several ads from back in the day that suggest that kids horked down candy corn by the bagfuls any time of year:

What isn't gross about that, I ask you? It was supposedly invented by a man named George Renninger, horrible, horrible George Renninger, at the Wunderle Candy Company of Philadelphia, as I learned in an article from The Atlantic. From that same article I learned candy corn was also called Chicken Feed by a large number people. The name didn't stick, but there's a reason so much of the vintage packaging on Candy Corn has roosters strutting their stuff.

My feelings on the matter are hard to convey. I am conflicted, believe it or not. For instance, if you were to ask me to follow Reis's list my own favorite 5 top Halloween-Season Treats they would be as follows: 

5. Smarties (This is like, the only time of year I eat them)
4. Caramel Apples
3. Wax Fangs
2. Tootsie Roll Midgees
1. Reese's Treat Size Peanut Butter Cups (The ones in folded wax paper, not foil) 

But if you were to ask me what candy is so iconic it transcends it's own crappy flavor and has become a symbol of the season and the Holiday itself? 

Again with the subtle.
Candy Corn. That crap is taking over the WORLD.

It makes me feel like Halloween is HERE. And the business industry is taking note. 

With stuff like: 
Candy Corn Flavored Dots

Candy Corn Oreos
The only picture I didn't steal from the internet.
Candy Corn M&Ms. We have a bag of these at our house. I have eaten some... and I kind of like them. But it's a texture thing. There's the crunchy candy shells, the smooth white chocolate centers... It's all very misleading... and not really genuinely Candy Corn. But it's part of the Halloween zeitgeist. Like vampires, or black cats, or the Frankenstein Monster, or droopy-sheet-Boo! ghosts, Candy Corn doesn't have to be Candy Corn anymore.

In fact, Candy corn can be people, or bunnies, or cat toys, or anything other than candy corn, and it means one thing:

Halloween. When you see a little dish of waxy, powdery, too-sweet flavorless candy corn proudly and prominently displayed... it means Halloween is here. And I fully endorse and actively support ANYTHING that celebrates that.

So Candy Corn will go marching on, long after we are all dead... serving as a tireless, never-ending symbol for Halloween.

But that does not mean it needs to go in my mouth. 

I apologize for the quality of the video. 
It was the best version I could find on Youtube.


  1. There really is no middle ground- people either love it or hate it. I looove candy corn, but I won't argue with the fact that it is disgusting. Candy corn is like crack for me, I can keep eating it even though I'm sick to my stomach and it give me headaches and serious withdrawal symptoms. Still I eat it every year.

    1. I agree. It's a two party system. We are sworn enemies, you and I. Much as I regret it. You seem cool.

      Maybe I'll let it slide.


  2. Like i told Reis mix your Candy Corn with Peanuts and it will taste like a Pay Day candy bar yum! : )

  3. Its a Paradox. Think about its name.... Candy Corn. Candy = yummy goin in. Corn = bad goin out. It shouldnt exist.....

    1. I... I hadn't... I never made that connection.


  4. I've said it elsewhere and I'll say it here: when people discuss candy corn, they never discuss BRANDS. Most generic, sitting-next-to-a-cash-register candy corn is terrible. HOWEVER, Brach's is the industry leader. Made with real honey. It doesn't taste like that chalky, bleh kind that you're probably thinking of. So, MOST candy corn is bad, but the brand that counts, Brach's, is excellent

    1. Oh you mean like the big bag of BRACHS Candy Corn my wife has in the house right this very instant!?!?

      I know the breadth and depths of candy corn. I know them well.

  5. I feel the same way about the M&Ms. I wasn't quite sure what to think of them. But needless to say - the bag is empty.
    I was going to use candy corn as decoration last year (great color!), but my daugher ate it out of the jar!!

    1. If it's got a crunchy shell and anything resembling even a distant relative to chocolate inside... it's fair game. It could be liver and onion M&M's and I'd probably polish off the whole bag.

  6. Back off of the candy corn. There are much worse things. For instance? How about a jar of candy canes that have been sitting in your living room for a year? Actually, traditional candy canes are highly overrated after you have one. Also, I agree with William. Brach's candy corn is the BOMB. I know it's 2012 I just used the phrase, "the bomb" in a sentence, but I don't care.

    1. How would you know what's sitting in my living room... "Anonymous"?

      Candy Canes are to Christmas as Candy Corn is to Halloween. Except they don't taste like scabs.


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