Here’s a fun fact: In the 1890s, candy corn was marketed under the name “chicken feed” and sold in a box with a picture of a rooster on the front. I find this nugget of history interesting because I wouldn’t feed candy corn to a chicken. A chicken deserves better. Any animal deserves better than a traffic cone-shaped, cavity-inducing nub of wax infused with corn syrup and food coloring.
Can we all just agree that candy corn is the worst of all the classic candies? It doesn’t resemble corn, and the taste is, well, I have no idea what it’s supposed to taste like. A dusty candle? Aside from wax and corn syrup, its ingredients include (wait for it) a resin secreted by insects in the forests of India and Thailand, plus the boiled ligaments and bones of animals. I promise I’m not making this up. Although, to be fair, those ingredients are pretty common in many foods, but the only time I think about the confectioner’s glaze (that’s the insect secretions) and the gelatin (that’s the ligaments and bones) is while I’m eating candy corn.
Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that you don’t think candy corn is the worst candy out there. In the coming weeks, watch what happens on store shelves as Halloween candy gets marked down to make room for Christmas confections. First, the bags of fun size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Kit Kat bars will sail off shelves. After the chocolate is gone, people will reluctantly purchase discounted Sweetarts, Smarties, and their kin. Candy corn is at the bottom of the candy hierarchy. Mark my words, in a month or so, you’ll be able to buy all the candy corn your teeth can handle for 80 percent off.
Even at 80 percent off you’re still paying too much.
I know this because a few years ago I bought bags and bags of the stuff for pennies on the dollar and then filled a large glass jar with candy corn and used it as a decoration through Thanksgiving. After the holiday, I dumped it all in the trash.
Now that we’ve established that candy corn, along with harvest corn (that’s the one with chocolate), and autumn mix (that’s the one with candy corn, harvest corn, and those weird pumpkin-shaped balls of orange sugar-wax) are generally terrible, it’s time to examine a new atrocity. Brach’s, the company most closely associated with producing the devil’s corn, is trying to make it a thing. They’re manufacturing weird, limited-edition flavors in an attempt to be buzzy and hip. Listen up people, I’m only going to say this about 100 times, probably 200. Don’t fall for it. Candy corn by any other name, or flavor, is still candy corn.
Let me give you an example. This year Brach’s produced Turkey Dinner Candy Corn. It sounds like something straight out of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” The idea sparks visions of Violet Beauregarde chomping on gum that tastes like a delicious three-course meal, until the unfortunate dessert. Turkey Dinner Candy Corn is not like that. Meaning it’s not delicious. Please, don’t replace your Thanksgiving dinner with a bag of candy corn.
The candy corn flavors include roasted turkey, green beans, stuffing, ginger glazed carrots, cranberry sauce, and sweet potato pie. In one of my most difficult reporting assignments ever, I tried Turkey Dinner Candy Corn. Every imitation flavor of it. Give me a minute to thoughtfully describe it to you. I believe the proper word is “yuck." That should be followed by the question, “What kind of sadist came up with this?”
And then I dumped it in the trash.
Perhaps I’m being a little harsh, but it’s important to say these things before candy corn continues its insidious march into other holidays. In addition to Thanksgiving candy corn, the corn is starting to push its unwanted, waxy presence into Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter. The National Confectioners Association seems to think this is a good thing, but we all know better. I refuse to accept peppermint candy corn or pumpkin spice candy corn into my life.
Please, manufacturers of candy corn, how about you stick to Halloween, and let us enjoy our Peeps and chocolate bunnies at Easter, and our peppermint anything-but-candy-corn at Christmas? Also, please rename your product. By calling it candy corn, you’re giving both candy and corn a bad name.