You see, it's like this: Candy corn is to Halloween, like jelly beans are to Easter, or Candy canes at Christmas. It's a candy rooted in the Halloween tradition, and has been since the 1880's!
Although the true inventor of candy corn is rather a mystery, many attribute the credit for this modern confectionery marvel to a man by the name of George Renniger. He was the man behind the Philadelphia, PA candy company called Wunderle Candy Co. Now, in the 1880's, a candy like this was never produced before! This was the first- ever candy to have 3 different colored layers: orange, yellow, and white. Since these were the days before advanced machines, candy-makers referred to as "runners" would actually have to make 3 separate passes using 50# of hot fondant for each separate color, and pouring just a small amount into the corn-starch lined forms (kernels) of each one! These people needed to be very strong, and have great endurance to lift and carry the large buckets of hot cooked fondant. (Doesn't sound like much fun to me! Imagine doing that job all day in the "not so safe" work standards of the late 1800's!) Nowadays, advanced machinery takes care of all of the "heavy lifting", and depositing of hot candy into molds, but the candy itself, is still made much the same way it was in the 1880's! The traditional vanilla flavor of candy corn still uses the basic original recipe, which is: sugar, corn syrup, marshmallow creme, confectioner's wax, and colors/binders. Around the turn of the century, the Goelitz Company, (now called Jelly Belly Co.), purchased the rights to "candy corn", and has the longest history in the industry of producing this iconic treat. When they first marketed it, they called it "chicken feed", (surprisingly it didn't go over quite as well....hmmmm!) They eventually renamed it "candy corn", and it has stuck ever since! In fact, "National Candy Corn Day" is fittingly celebrated on October 30th every year! It may also be interesting to note that if you're going to indulge in Halloween candy, candy corn is probably the healthiest! (It is fat-free, about 28 grams of sugar, and for roughly 19 pieces, it's 140 calories.) There are several companies that manufacture candy corn, but some of the most well-known ones are: Brach's, Jelly Belly, Zachary, and Shari. They are also now produced in different holiday colors and flavors for: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines, and Easter.
Even if you are not a candy corn fan, this is still a fun candy to use for decoration on cupcakes, cookies, other Halloween treats/ snacks, and for non- edible items like: wreaths, pumpkins, craft projects, teaching kids math, and just placing in glass bowls for color at your holiday party, or in your home!
What's your favorite flavor? There are so many to choose from: classic, s'mores, caramel, caramel apple, caramel macchiato, green apple, chocolate caramel, apple pie, pumpkin spice, and Starbursts- fruit flavors!
So, while you are enjoying some delicious candy corn, I will leave you with this fun and educational video on how it's made! (Compliments of the Food Network)