It is nearly that time again… Halloween and the fields are ripe and ready for the yearly harvest of candy corn. The little yellow, orange, and white treat is iconic among holiday candies and has a rich and “SAWEEEEET” legacy that dates back more than a century.
According to candy legend and some people I talked to that I was assured really did know what they were talking about, George Renninger, a candy-maker at the Wunderlee Candy Company in Philadelphia, invented the revolutionary tricolor candy in the 1880s with The Goelitz Confectionery Company bringin the candy to the masses at the turn of the 20th century. The company, now called Jelly Belly Candy Co., (sound familiar) has cornered the candy corn market and although the method has changed, it still uses the original recipe.
The candy corn starts as a mixture of SUGAR, fondant, (more SUGAR) corn syrup, (liquid SUGAR) vanilla flavor, and marshmallow crème (A dash of still more SUGAR). This mixture is melted into liquid candy, called slurry, and is colored and run through molding process to create each kernel. Wooden trays filled with cornstarch are imprinted with rows of candy corn molds, where the layers are individually deposited from bottom to top.
The mixture cools in the tray, which seals the three layers together. The kernels of candy corn are sifted from the trays and polished with edible wax (yes you read that correctly) and then glaze is added to create supernatural shine.
I am still not sure if I should be disgusted my addiction to them or in awe of how badass this candy really is…
Candy Corn Facts
- When the Goelitz Confectionery Company first produced candy corn, it was called “Chicken Feed.” The boxes were illustrated with a colorful rooster logo and a tag line that read: “Something worth crowing for.”
- You don’t have to wait for Halloween to indulge in the mellow creme candies — celebrate National Candy Corn Day on October 30.
- According to the National Confectioners Association, more than 35 million pounds (or 9 billion pieces) of candy corn will be produced this year.
- Candy corn is one of the better-for-you candies of the Halloween season. It contains roughly 28 grams of sugar and only 140 calories per heaping handful — and it’s fat free!
- In 1950, the price of candy corn was just 25 cents per pound.
- In honor of its Goelitz roots, Jelly Belly developed a candy corn-flavor jelly bean.
- Once the package is opened, store candy corn covered and away from heat and light at room temperature; it should last three to six months.