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Halloween's #1 Treat: Candy Corn

Updated on July 20, 2009
Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom is a keen observer of life. She shares her personal experiences and opinions in helpful and often amusing ways.

 

You know it's almost Halloween when you start seeing bags of tri-colored candy corn (CC) in the grocery stores. If you're like me, you pretty much ignore the 2-lb bags of Hershey's minis, 3 Musketeers and Kit Kats and dive straight for the CC. I mean really, you can get chocolate any old day of the year. But candy corn... mmmmmmmmm. For my money, one bag of CC is worth a California-king pillowcase stuffed with any other treat.

Halloween brings out the sugar fiend in all of us

When it comes to trick-or-treating, kids will pretty much take anything you care to dish out. But CC is Halloween candy for grownups. I'm serious. Have you noticed how your kids can pretty much take it or leave it (which is great -- all the more for us moms and dads!)? Why might that be? Let's start with the fact that candy corn is "old school" and it's "classic." It was introduced in the 1880s and its shape and composition haven't changed since. The only thing that's changed is it's now machine-made. Back when, men called "stringers" walked backwards pouring the candy into cornstarch trays imprinted with the kernel shape. Awww. How quaint!

The original candy corn -- still the best
The original candy corn -- still the best
For some reason those pumpkins just don't taste right
For some reason those pumpkins just don't taste right

Corn, Chocolate or Other?

What's Your favorite Halloween candy?

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This ain't your daughter's Halloween candy

By and large, today's kids don't share that sense of nostalgia for the classics of our youth (and why should they -- they're still young themselves.). Or it could be they have more discriminating candy palates. Raised on Skittles, Gummis and Warheads, they dismiss candy corn as not sufficiently multi-colored, gelatinous, uber-tart ... or just plain weird.

When I bite into a CC nugget I taste a dense little wedge of sweet autumn sunshine. What does my son taste? Judging by his expression, a pretty lame excuse for a candy rush. Who knows? There may be something about the exact combination of sugar, corn syrup, fondant and marshmallow that only adults can appreciate. Kinda like those high-pitched tones that only people under 30 can hear, only in reverse.

It's Here! It's Here!

Notice the resemblance to the Brach's bag?
Notice the resemblance to the Brach's bag?
Coincidence?
Coincidence?

Candy corn economics: the law of supply and demand

There's definitely the "exclusivity" factor as well. It's human nature to covet that which is rare or unobtainable. I remember as a kid growing up in New York a neighbor's dad traveled to Colorado and brought home a six-pack of Coors beer. In those days, Coors was only available west of the Rockies. Well, I tell you, we kids stood in awe of this wondrous brew made with pure Rocky Mountain spring water (or whatever the advertising claim was then). I grew up convinced that Coors was superior to any beer available locally. Many years later I discovered what the fuss was all about. By then my taste had turned to wine, and I remember being turned onto Beaujolais nouveau. Talk about seasonal hoopla! This light-bodied, fruity red (actually light purple) wine is fermented only a few weeks, then "officially" released for sale on the third Thursday of November (Thanksgiving, here in the states) on "Beaujolais Day." If it weren't for Beaujolais Day, how many people would ever give it a second sip?

I do believe there's a similar phenomenon at work with candy corn. If it were available year-round, some of its cachet would rub off (leaving a sticky orange/yellow mess). If it weren't so closely associated with Halloween, would we be tempted to toss it back by the handful in, say, the middle of April or August?

Perhaps so. That point is highly debatable.

Voice Your Corn-cern

They now make reindeer corn, cupid corn and bunny corn.How do you feel about that?

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Makes me really wanna corn out

I say this because of the highly addictive nature of candy corn. I will readily admit to being one who consumes CC like Lays potato chips (betcha can't eat just one ...bag). But until today, I had never felt the remotest curiosity about CC ingredients. As far as I knew (or cared), candy corn was made of white sugar, orange sugar and yellow sugar.

Then, while reading about its history, I saw the word "fondant" listed as one of the ingredients. Fondant? I had to look it up. And here's what I discovered:

Fondant: "An icing made out of gelatin, confectioners sugar and water. A very smooth and malleable icing that dries hard. Not for the amateur (indeed!!). This icing isn't put on with a knife, but rather rolled to a uniform thickness and then laid over the cake. It can also be used for detail work such as making intricate flowers. A fondant-covered cake can be spotted by its rounded edges."

Already you can see that fondant is pretty lofty stuff. But wait, there's more:

"Fondant, as used for candy-making, forms the basic foundation of after-dinner mints, peppermint patties and chocolate-covered cherries, as well as candy corn. Fondant is also the basis of most chocolate-covered creams."

After-dinner mints? Chocolate-covered cherries? Have you ever seen anyone under 45 eat either one of these? Me neither. No wonder candy corn, being a "fondant candy," holds such limited appeal for young people.

You won't catch me taking candy from my babies

So at the end of the night, the kids can keep their haul. I may sneak a peek just to see what's "hot" this year. But they needn't worry about old Mom. I know there's plenty of chocolate in my holiday future.

Everything I need to satisfy my Halloween sweet tooth is right here in this bag. Oh... and the three more I stashed ... just in case they ran out before October 31st.

Happy Halloween Everyone!

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    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 5 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      My favorite holiday, too! Never too early to start planning and saving up our sugar calories to gorge on CC! Thanks for visting and the "sweet" comment, krsharp. MM

    • krsharp05 profile image

      Kristi Sharp 5 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      Great idea! I adore Halloween so finding a relevant Halloween hub is always relevant to my most favorite holiday of the year. I cannot recall a single Halloween - ever, that we didn't have a bowl of candy corn sitting out for guests to nibble and sample. CC makes the room a bit more cozy :). Great job. -K

    • profile image

      Pachuca213 8 years ago

      Chica- I loved this! So festive for the time of year it is too! And I do love Candy Corn! Its funny you wrote CC and I automatically thought of Ralwus (cc) lol!...how are you chica? haven't heard from you in awhile! Well thanks for making me want to go buy a bag of CC...ttyl! =)

    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      You are not the only one who gets excited over Candy Corn. I know of at least two other CC junkies. Hold tight -- Halloween's only 2 months away! Hard to believe...

      Thanks for visiting BKCreative. MM

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      No doubt when Halloween comes I will pick up a bag of these (and hide and eat them). It was the thrill of a lifetime when chocolate was added to the bottom.

      Imagine getting excited over candy corn. But I do!

      Thanks a lot for this hub!

    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 9 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      LOL SweetiePie -- reminds me of parents using M&Ms as a reward to get their kids potty trained. I'm glad your memories of the kindergarten teacher using candy corn are positive ones. Somehow, I imagine that would not be allowed in today's environment -- parents might even sue the teacher for inducing bodily harm or something.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      In Kindergarten our teacher used to reward us with candy corn, so I have loved it since. Thanks for this fun hub, it brought back memories for me.

    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 9 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Hi Mulder and SharonSarah,

      Welcome to this discussion of candy. I try not to be cynical but do wonder if Halloween is secretly sponsored by the American Dental Association because of all the cavities in induces (LOL). Probably in Australia you have health and dental care that is provided to all, so there would be no incentive to get people to eat more candy. I'm just kidding here, by the way.

      SharonSarah -- Love your little ones. They are just too cute and show a lot about you in your avatar!!!

    • sharonsarah profile image

      sharonsarah 9 years ago

      I follow you. But I love candies nd jellies both. Nice information is given. I am so much impressed by your hub.

    • mulder profile image

      mulder 9 years ago from Warnbro Western Australia

      Im afraid halloween is not that big in Australia but most people do celebrate it .But I like the idea my kids love it and all the sweets you get with it to in fact my sister in law is haveing a halloween party soon .

    • Em Writes profile image

      Em Writes 9 years ago from Upstate NY

      Mmmmmm... Valentine's Day. Those little red cinnamon heart thingies are wonderful, too, if you can get your hands on a fresh batch that's good and strongly flavored.

      Really, it's a wonder I'm not diabetic. :)

    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 9 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      I'm totally with you on the licorice beans!! Yum-o! ALMOST makes me want to fast-forward through Halloween, Christmas and Valentine's Day and go straight to bean season!

    • Em Writes profile image

      Em Writes 9 years ago from Upstate NY

      I actually adore Jelly Belly jelly beans! The cappuccino and very cherry are my favorites.

      I really will eat almost any jelly bean, though, when they're in season, and have a bit of a soft spot for licorice beans. :)

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 9 years ago from Washington, USA

      I know  "male attention" for writing and I was just stretching it to include how much women have to struggle(not eat that yummy goodies around and getting on the treadmill) to get the right kind of attention from the right kind of guy... hehe

    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 9 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      I meant male attention for my topic/writing. LOL. I've long since given up looking for male attention for my "sexy physique." (as you can probably tell since I'm writing about CANDY instead of SALAD). But you are so right, Countrywomen! Men don't have hormones like we do.

      Hey -- there's a hub topic that I'd love to write about. Thanks for the idea!!!

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 9 years ago from Washington, USA

      That's not fair "male attention" What did women do to get the body which puts on weight so quickly(but getting rid of it so difficult), unlike my brother who hogs like a pig and still stays slim... LOL. I just have to smell chocolates (forget about eating them and I tend to put on weight) that's not fair... grrr

    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 9 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      More fun facts for the candy-inclined. Candy corn is now made by Jelly Belly -- the acknowledged king of jelly beans. JB's HQ is in Fairfield, which is about 45 mins from my house. If you're ever in California, look me up and I'll take you on a tour!

      BTW, Ms. Em, are we talking the large sized Easter basket jelly beans or any jelly beans? JBs are small and come in some pretty strange flavors.

      ASU I assume has left the building in search of mints or maybe some real icing. And while we're on the subject of calories -- I read that a "serving" of CC is only 140 calories, but that's for 22 pieces. So for me that's more like 1400 calories a serving. LOL!

      Thanks ladies for commenting. I think I'm going to have to write a more "masculine" hub to attract some male attention:-)

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 9 years ago from Washington, USA

      Mighty Mom,

      Sure "vitrual" CC  won't affect literally my "bottom" line.  I guess like horses which have their eyes covered by blinders, I need to have those on too to protect me from the feast around. LOL.

    • NYLady profile image

      NYLady 9 years ago from White Plains, NY

      Candy corn! Yum! Never knew it was made from fondant, but now it all makes sense! Learn something new everyday, especially if you read Mighty Mom.

    • allshookup profile image

      allshookup 9 years ago from The South, United States

      I like both of the candies you mentioned. Although we don't celebrate halloween, we do eat candy. My favorite is York Peppermint Patties or 3 Muskateers Mint. Anything with mint is my favorite. I didn't know that chocolate was better for you than candy corn. I have decorated cakes using fondant. I don't like eating that much at all. If I'm going to have the calories of icing, I want the real stuff. Regluar fondant is not as good tasting that you just put on cake. I guess I really LOVE it when mixed with the stuff that makes mints though LOL. I didn't know that part. Now I want mints!

    • Mighty Mom profile image
      Author

      Susan Reid 9 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Thanks, Countrywomen! I'll share my CC with you -- but only in a virtual way:-)

    • Em Writes profile image

      Em Writes 9 years ago from Upstate NY

      Hmmmm... I recommend another survey. Which do you prefer: Candy corn at Halloween, or jelly beans at Easter. Me? I'm a jelly bean girl... until Halloween. Really, I'm not sure that I ever met a candy I didn't like.

      Fun hub, Mighty Mom!

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 9 years ago from Washington, USA

      The holiday season does wreck all my resolutions. Everywhere around me people stock up so much tasty candy treats. I love caramel pop corn didn't know all this reindeer, cupid and bunny corn. Very mouthwatering hub.

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