October 30th, 2010

It’s Candy Corn Day: how will you celebrate?

[NOTE: This is a slightly-edited repost of a previous article.]

No doubt you readers, being unusually well-informed people, were already aware that today is National Candy Corn Day.

But did you know it is estimated that in this country twenty million pounds of the classic treat (invented in the 1880s) are sold every year? I personally might be responsible for approximately a ton of that if I gave in to my worst impulses. However, I try to keep my addiction in tightly-controlled check.

It is part of my penance to confess here that I really like the stuff and always have. Once I even went to a Halloween party dressed as a piece of candy corn, and I was already a grownup.

Apparently I am not the only adult who has done so. And no, I didn’t look like this—more’s the pity (although to be technical, isn’t she dressed as two pieces of candy corn, the body and the hat?):


I am not alone in my shameful liking for the tricolored tooth-destroyer. I heard on Fox News (can’t give a link here because I was unable to find the information online) that candy corn is the Halloween treat most often stolen by parents from their kids’ Halloween stash. The craving is a guilty, shameful secret for most, but I am glad this affliction is finally seeing the light of day.

Even some fanatically health-consciously vegans seem to crave candy corn although alas, the treat is off-limits to them because of its animal-related ingredients. Animal ingredients? If you doubt my words, just take a look:

Sugar, Corn Syrup, Salt, Honey, Soy Protein, Gelatin, Confectioner’s Glaze, Dextrose, Artificial Flavor, Titanium Dioxide Color, Artificial Colors (Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 3, Blue 1)

Gelatin and honey must be the big no-nos. But happily, a thoughtful vegan (are there any other kind?) mother has come to the rescue with a recipe for candy corn so complex and labor-intensive that it undoubtedly reflects a devotion to the stuff even more intense than mine. Try it if you dare—and if you are insane.

There are various gourmet variations on candy corn, and I’ve sampled quite a few in my day. To my mind they can’t compare to good old Brach’s. But after watching the following highly informative video, I may just try some Goelitz:

And here’s a burning question I was reminded of on watching the video: do you eat your candy corn in sections? And, if so, do you consider the top to be the yellow part or the white part? I’ve always seen the little white triangle as the “foot” of the candy corn, but I learned when I designed my costume years ago that most people see it the other way. For those who might be inclined to disagree with me and join my critics, I offer the following exhibit from the realm of science:


Happy eating. And oh—I’m done with candy corn this year. I think.

16 Responses to “It’s Candy Corn Day: how will you celebrate?”

  1. FenelonSpoke Says:

    Maybe you should reconsider and eat it while you can, neo. It may soon be a removed item by the unofficial food czar-AKA Michelle Obama. I always found it too sweet myself but my spouse likes it.

  2. Gringo Says:

    My first memory of candy corn is when I was five years old, of eating candy corn from a treat bag my grandmother prepared for our car trip back home.

    I liked it as a kid, but cannot remember the last time I had it. It is too sweet for me now. I prefer dairy, nuts or fruit with my sugar fix. Cheese with apricot preserves is my weakness.

  3. SteveBrooklineMA Says:

    Love the stuff. Always have, always will. I’m a white-tip-firster though!

  4. texexec Says:

    Never have liked candy corn (at least there’s SOMETHING you and I don’t agree on, Neo!).

    Thinking about this, I guess there’s almost no candy I like that doesn’t have chocolate involved. I do like peanut brittle and pralines with pecans in ‘em.

  5. LAG Says:

    neo, I followed your scientific argument on the proper orientation of candy corn with interest.

    My wife normally buys bags of Snickers, Reese’s PB Cups, etc, for “the kids,” though I usually find a couple of candy corns in there, too. All things I like too much.

    But this year, out of a sense of self-preservation, I talked her into buying those sour little things I can’t stand. The kids are going to have to suck it up.

  6. West Says:

    MMMMM, candy corn, “Mah Fav’rite”. After the flamethrower, that is.

  7. Ruth H Says:

    I’ve been on a quest in our little town for the ones with a chocolate top/bottom and have not been able to find any at all. I love it. I’m diabetic, I shouldn’t have it. But once a year….?

  8. marine's mom Says:

    As an avid Trick-or-treater when my kids were young (I was the Mom saying, “Just one more street, kids, just one more street!” when they started dragging their feet and getting all whiny) I can vouch for the fact that kids don’t get candy corn in their goody bags.
    And personally, I stole all the chocolate bars.
    So I will have to disagree with Fox News.
    Does that make me a racist?

  9. jon baker Says:

    I am thinking that anyone who has ever shelled uncooked, dry corn from a cob would see the skinny part as the bottom- since that part faces the cob.

  10. nancy Says:

    I read you daily and this is my first comment. Naturally it is about candy. Candy corn is my very favorite candy. The white is the top and I eat it in sections, top down. This way you save the best (biggest piece) for last. I need to be restrained during Halloween or I will inhale the stuff. And a little tip: Sephora is now selling candy corn body wash. it’s heaven!

  11. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Yes, it is one if my great joys! To eat candy corn until my teeth feel like they are rotting, my tummy is filled to the brim, and my brain is saying yes, yews, yes! It is evil, and I love it so!

  12. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    You do this to me every year. It’s my favorite candy and you will NOT let me forget it. However, this year, I immunized myself by buying one of those 50-cent bags with the red top and a few overly large, definitely stale candy kernels inside. They weren’t good and it was easy not to eat them. I am pretending that’s how it all tastes. Don’t tell me any different!

  13. waltj Says:

    You can have my share. Candy Corn has never been one of my top 100 treats. Even if you wrapped it in bacon, I wouldn’t care for it.

  14. Nolanimrod Says:

    The pointy white part is the bottom. Here endeth the lesson.

  15. maureen Says:

    Adore it. Always nibbled the white part first. Hated the stuff with the “chocolate” top: don’t know why, I love chocolate otherwise. I haven’t had any this year yet, but now that you’ve brought it up, it seems like a good time to do some ‘food’ shopping…

  16. Wry Mouth Says:

    I regret to inform you that I rank candy corn, along with Circus Peanuts and Wax Lips, as among the worst forms of “candy.”

    You may have any candy corns that happen to come my way.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.


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