The polls are in! This halloween season, candystore.com took it upon themselves to amass 10 years worth of candy sales and organized them by state to find out every one’s favorite candy. Normally, such innocuous data wouldn’t be the source of any controversy but six states very selfishly ruined the list with their selections. Brace yourselves…through their purchases, Alabama, Idaho, Michigan, New Mexico, Rhode Island and South Carolina have all elected Candy Corn as their favorite candy. I’ll give you a moment, as I’m sure you’ve just entered the same thick cloud of confusion that I did when I read the news. You may find yourself asking, with the vast selection of candy that Qcandy and the rest of America has to offer, why would anyone in their right mind choose the hard, waxy kernels of candy as their favorite? Despite my seething hatred of Candy Corn, I had to come to grips with the fact that it was the most mentioned candy on the entire list. This prompted a desire to investigate the origin of Candy Corn, if only to understand why it’s such a polarizing treat.
Candy Corn is primarily made of three ingredients: sugar, corn syrup and confectioner’s wax. The ingredients are melted down into a liquid candy which then goes through a cornstarch molding process before being dyed with its three signature colors (yellow, orange and white). There are a few urban legends out there about how candy corn came to be. The most accepted theory is that a candy maker from Pennsylvania invented Candy Corn in the 1880’s and originally called it “Chicken Feed.” The Goelitz Candy Company, now known as Jelly Belly Candy Co., introduced Candy Corn to the masses at the turn of the 20th century. Jelly Belly Candy Co., currently has the longest history of making candy corn. Get this, they still use the original recipe!
Perhaps people’s love for Candy Corn is rooted in nostalgia. After all, it’s been around for over a century and every year around 20 million pounds of the orange kernels are sold in the United States. Much like its Easter counter-part, Peeps, Candy Corn has become synonymous with Halloween and if I must say something positive about the waxy kernels it is this: Without Candy Corn Halloween would never be the same again.
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