October 30th is National Candy Corn Day, a day to grab a handful of the much loved confection and satisfy your sweet tooth! Candy corn was created by George Renninger of the Wunderle Candy Company in the 1880s. It was originally manufactured by hand by heating a combination of sugar, corn syrup, wax, water, marshmallow, and fondant to create a slurry. The mixture was poured into molds in three phases — one for each color, to mimic the look of actual corn kernels. Although the candy is now made by machines, very little about it’s recipe and appearance has changed. The candy has become a well-loved holiday icon, prompting estimated sales of 20 million pounds per year. While the traditional colors for candy corn are orange, yellow, and white, its popularity has also inspired other variations like “Indian corn” (a brown, orange, and white “kernel” associated with Thanksgiving) and “reindeer corn” (red, green, and white for the winter holidays).
When I was little I absolutely detested candy corn. Something about the sugary sweetness made my stomach turn. But as I grew older I became less discriminating in my tastes (and you’d know I wasn’t just talking about my tastebud’s taste if you knew some of my ex-boyfriends) and grew to like candy corn. Very much, in fact. Since then it’s been a staple in my diet around the autumn months and I am continually shocked by how quickly handfuls of the candy can “disappear.” I have spent many an afternoon sitting at my desk at work, reeling with “sugar sickness” from one too many a kernels of the delicious candy. And yet, I’ve continued to go back for more…and more…and more.
This year I got lucky and I didn’t come across any bowls of candy corn in the office. My jeans are grateful and so is my sometimes sensitive stomach. But I knew I couldn’t hold out forever. So in honor of National Candy Corn Day Chris and I stopped in the bulk candy aisle of Wegmans during our trip to the grocery store this afternoon.