America's Love-Hate Relationship With Candy Corn
Getty Images Childhood flashback! It's Halloween, you're trick-or-treating, and a neighbor slips a bag of candy corn into your pillowcase. Do you feel a rush of elation? Or are you suddenly gripped with a sinking sense of dismay?
It turns out candy corn, that traditional orange, yellow and white American confection, tends to be one of those foods people instinctively decide to either love or hate. Some view it as a sweet seasonal treat, while others dismiss the sugary creation as Halloween's version of the dreaded Christmas fruitcake.
Candy corn was invented in the 1880s by George Renninger, a candy maker at the Wunderle Candy Company of Philadelphia. (Fun fact: back in the day, some companies marketed it under the name "chicken feed" rather than "candy corn.") Since then, the stuff has become an unstoppable Halloween fixture. According to the National Confectioner's Association, more than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year. That works out to 9 billion pieces -- enough to circle the moon nearly 21 times if laid end-to-end. The classic candy even has a day in its honor -- October 30th.
So, who loves it and who hates it?
- • Kerry Saretsky at Serious Eats calls candy corn "the most charismatic, charming, deliciously cloying candy in existence."
- • Her colleague Erin Zimmer takes the opposite position: "If you drank a bottle of Karo syrup and ate a candle, that's what candy corn would taste like."
- • National Public Radio's The Splendid Table featured it in a segment entitled "Cooking with Loser Candy."
- • And to comedian Lewis Black, candy corn tastes of, well, disappointment:
If you're pro faux corn? Discover the secret ingredient that creates its distinctively smooth, almost fluffy texture:
Candy corn clearly holds a place in America's cultural consciousness. (You can even dress up as it for Halloween. Yeah.) So, how do you feel about the soft chewy candy? Tell us in the comments!