America’s Most Debated Halloween Treat: Candy Corn

Candy corn – it’s a tiny piece of candy that stirs up huge debate and intense feelings of craving or vitriol. Of course, it all comes to a head in the beginning of fall.

And while most candy corn is sold every year on October 28th, ‘official’ National Candy Corn Day is celebrated on October 30th.

However, as a self-appointed candy corn connoisseur, I can tell you the best possible time to purchase the polarizing confection is September. That’s when candy corn starts making it onto store shelves, and that’s when it’s the freshest.

Candy corn has an unusually long shelf life, but it’s the yummiest (in my opinion) when it can melt in your mouth.

Image from mentalfloss.com

Some chastise the candy, because it’s called “corn,” but it doesn’t even look like a kernel. However, the sweet and mellow treat does actually have corn in it.

Sure, it’s corn syrup, but that still totally counts. When it was first created, candy corn was marketed to farmers and rural people.

SO, LET’S GET INTO CANDY CORN’S BEGINNING.

Candy corn was made in the 1880s before there were cars and home phones. The Goelitz Candy Co. brought us the mouth-watering morsels first.

Back then, it was called “Chicken Feed.” The sweet kernels came in boxes with rooster logos. The tagline was “Something worth crowing for.”

The family-run business changed the name from the Goelitz Candy Co. to the Jelly Belly Candy Co. Although Jelly Belly is the original maker (and still makes the candy), Brach’s is the number one candy corn seller today.

Candy corn became synonymous with Halloween in the 1940s and 50s when trick-or-treating became a popular Halloween pastime. Today, though, handing out candy corn from your front door might not be the best idea. It may not warrant an egging, but you might not have happy ghost and ghoul children coming back for more.

Candy Corn
Via Dane Deaner/Unsplash

IS THERE A PROPER WAY TO EAT CANDY CORN?

The method of eating candy corn is another debate.

Here’s the short answer, though. No.

A lot of people believe the treat should be nibbled in a certain fashion. Like the ritual of eating Oreos, there’s a method to the madness of your own munch. Believe it or not, there was actually research to figure out how folks chomped. The National Confectioners Association’s survey revealed that while almost half of candy corn consumers gobble the whole piece at once, 43% start with the narrow white end. Ten percent of the surveyed begin eating the wider yellow end first. My personal performance varies each time I encounter the candy.

Handfuls of sweet stuff straight into the gullet seems to be an effective method for myself, though.

 

If you encounter candy corn this fall, no matter if you love it or hate it, there’s likely a candy corn lover in your life. So, share! You’re likely to find someone who is oddly obsessed confectionery creation.