And yet every October, it fills candy bowls, trick-or-treat bags and the mouths of sweet-toothed snackers everywhere. For millions, it wouldn’t be Halloween without candy corn.
Here are some things you may not know about the polarizing confection.
It actually looks like corn
When candy corn first came out, roughly half of Americans worked on farms, and the treat was designed to look like chicken feed.
People love it or hate it
The treat took home second place as Michigan’s most popular Halloween candy, and residents were not happy.
For an innocuous little treat, candy corn sure sparks strong opinions.
“All the candy corn that’s ever been made was made in 1911,” he says.
It used to be made by hand in large kettles
Candy corn seems like a relatively modern invention, but it dates to the 1880s, before the automobile and the commercial telephone. The Goelitz Candy Co. began making it in 1900 before the family-run operation changed its name to the Jelly Belly Candy Co., which still produces candy corn today.
In the early days of the 20th century, workers cooked sugar, corn syrup, marshmallow and other ingredients into a slurry in large kettles and then poured the warm mixture by hand into cornstarch trays imprinted with the kernel shape.
Today, of course, machines do almost all the work.
There’s a proper way to eat it
OK, not really. But many people believe that candy corn, like Oreos, should be nibbled in a certain manner.
Another 10% — the true renegades — begin eating the wider yellow end first.
It can be deep-fried
“What do we do to things we don’t need/want/like?” she wrote. “We fry it … that’s what! Frying makes everything better …”
It’s now a beer
That’s right. If you don’t like eating candy corn, now you can just opt to drink the Halloween sensation.
Wisconsin’s Westallion Brewing Company rolled out their Candy Corn Cream Ale, which was “brewed to smell and taste like candy corn with notes of vanilla and cream.”
It’s not just for Halloween
It’s not just for Halloween any more. Manufacturers now produce “Indian corn” (with a brown end instead of yellow) for Thanksgiving, “Reindeer corn” (red and green) for Christmas, “Cupid corn” (red and pink) for Valentine’s Day, “Bunny corn” (white and various bright colors) for Easter and “Freedom corn” (red, white and blue) for July 4.
Can green “St. Paddy’s corn” be far behind?