The origins of candy corn: A divisive delicacy, destined to be a Halloween tradition

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Candy corn: Is it a treat or some kind of trick candy makers are playing on us?

The question arises because the candy is truly divisive. But those who love it are delighted by the approach of Halloween.

Michael Byars, a public radio host in Kansas City, Missouri describes candy corn as “pure sugary deliciousness that reminds me of my youth – when everything was simple and easy and the worries and stresses and fears of adulthood weren’t even on the radar.”

On the other side of the candy corn issue is Johner Riehl, a public relations executive in San Diego, California. “As I look at a piece of candy corn, I feel bad for the sugar, corn syrup and industrial dye that were all congealed together to form a waxy, chewy and gross wedge that resembles (and tastes like) a safety cone more than it does a piece of corn,” he said.

Many of us are in the middle, like Mark Neese, a library assistant from Lansing, Michigan. “Candy corn is something I never even think about until October, but I actually kind of enjoy it (in limited quantities),” he shared. “I don’t think it deserves all the grief and disparagement it receives.”

Candy corn: An ‘iconic Halloween treat’

For many, candy corn represents the reason for the Halloween season. Most of the 9 billion kernels, more than 35 million pounds produced annually according to past pronouncements by the National Confectioners Association, are eaten around Halloween.

During the year, candy corn doesn’t get much respect. But candy corn elbows its way onto center stage with the arrival of fall and advent of Halloween. It’s the No. 3 rated Halloween treat, behind chocolate and gummy candy, the National Confectioners Association found in a July survey of 1,500 U.S. respondents (and an oversampling of parents).

How do you eat candy corn?

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