October 31st, 2011

Candy corn cravings

[NOTE: The following is a slightly edited version of an old post.]

This year I noticed that, when kids came to the door for Halloween, they seemed to grab the little packets of candy corn first. That doesn’t surprise me, since I’m a huge fan of the disgustingly sweet stuff myself and have absolutely no ability to resist it.

So it’s best if no candy corn is left over come November first, because if there were I’d just eat it. I’m hardly alone in this; it’s estimated that twenty million pounds of the classic treat (invented in the 1880s) are sold every year in the US. I personally might be responsible for approximately a ton of that if I gave in to my worst impulses. However, I keep my addiction in tightly-controlled check.

Once I even went to a Halloween party dressed as a piece of candy corn, and I was already a grownup at the time. And apparently I am not the only adult who has dressed up as candy corn on Halloween. 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?):

candycorncostume.gif

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 by 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, I offer the following exhibit from the realm of science:

corn-components.jpg

10 Responses to “Candy corn cravings”

  1. Toy Says:

    If you mix candy corn with salted peanuts in a bowl and eat them, it tastes just like a Payday candy bar.

    Candy corn is one of the candy legacies from my grandfather, in addition to orange slices, maple nut goodies, and circus peanuts. (I hate the circus peanuts, but like the others.) Usually they came in a white paper bag from G.C. Murphy’s dime store.

    Toy

  2. vanderleun Says:

    I am having some lip smacking candy corn right now and am holding back some from the children. Har har!

  3. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    I love candy corn too. None in the house this year. Drat!!

    Thanks for the video. Always wondered how it was made. Complex process. Not something one can whip up at home. Always has to be store bought and that makes it special.

  4. Roy Lofquist Says:

    Are vegetarians allowed to eat Animal Crackers?

  5. beverly Says:

    Gerard, how are you feeling??? heard at Ace that you’d had a heart attack: are you okay?

  6. vanderleun Says:

    I did have a coronary arrest but now I am on the mend. Thelong slow mend but mend still. Thanks for asking.

  7. rickl Says:

    I’m glad to see you’re doing better, Gerard.

    I don’t get many trick-or-treaters around here, but I’ll have to make a point of buying some candy corn next year.

  8. A Sad Vegetarian Says:

    Gelatin???

    Boy do I regret reading this article… :(

  9. csimon Says:

    My father, now 89 yrs. old loves his candy and since I was a little girl (a VERY long time ago) I would spend my allowance to surprise him with his very favorites which are, to this day, candy corn, orange slices and circus peanuts. He takes a baggie and mixes all his favorites up (Good N Plenty go in the bag, too). Then each night after dinner he settles down in his favorite TV chair and zones out while happily munching away. Fortunately he’s stayed slim, and he had all his teeth replaced with implants some time ago, so no worries about calories or cavities — Lucky guy!

    (Toy- So funny that your grandfather loves almost all same candies. It’s not like any of them are similar in taste or texture. Except they are VERY sweet!)

  10. sushisistah Says:

    I feel a Butter Mint story coming on….

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