This Halloween, I was inundated with interviews about all aspects of candy, not just Trick o’ Treat. From the wildly different questions and comments came one theme: a contempt for Candy Corn. Personally, I don’t get it. Candy Corn is a harmless, gentle member of the candy family with not a ting of scandal unlike, say, the false razor-blade-in-apple-scandal.
Besides, history proves the magnificence, if not longevity, of Candy Corn. The yellow, orange and white pyramid candies began as “Chicken Feed” in 1888, made by the Wunderle Company, the candies were of the same marshmallow-ish texture of other popular sweets of the time – Circus Peanuts, Cream Candy, and Marshmallow Biscuits ie., caramel covered marshmallows, among them.
Candy Corn was unique, however, in its fall colors and corn-like look, helping it transition from an everyday candy to a Halloween extravaganza. The reason: early Halloweens, while ribboned with ghostly stories and wild pranks, were more like Harvest Festivals with sumptuous nuts, fruits, and other seasonal delights. The Candy Corn fit in.
True, for generations Candy Corn remained a penny candy mingling well with the jelly beans and gummies on the shelves beside it. Today, candy corn is primarily made by Brach’s Confections and Jelly Belly, with around nine billion pieces enjoyed (or not, as the case may be) each year, most of it during Halloween.