I Mourn Candy Corn Scorn

I stopped by the grocery store for a few items over the weekend and nearly tripped over a display of Halloween candy…surefire proof that “fall” is coming! I ignored the M&M’s and Snickers and gummy worms but did grab a bag of that most wondrous of holiday treats, candy corn.

Not even politics inspire as much heated debate as candy corn. There’s no middle ground here, no reaching across the aisles and putting aside partisan differences when it comes to this tri-colored treat: you either love it or loathe it. In our household, I’m the lover and Tara’s the loather. This shouldn’t surprise anybody.

I wasn’t always a fan of candy corn. Growing up, I lumped it in with broccoli and country music, i.e., things with no redeeming qualities. Nowadays, I really dig broccoli—Tara microwave-steams it in chicken broth, which is quite tasty—and I can tolerate country music (more so Chris Stapleton or Lucinda Williams than, say, Toby Keith, but at least that’s progress). And candy corn is a seasonal splurge I look forward to with an intensity that’s almost embarrassing. I no longer indulge in sweets with the same fervor as nine-year-old Mark did—my dance with diabetes cured me of that—but I always make an exception for candy corn. I find everything about it appealing: the taste, the color, the texture—even the smell. Candy corn represents autumn, which I’m betting is everybody’s favorite season. Like Tom Hanks, it’s universally adored. I submit as evidence the following:

(Watch, you’ll all vote for something silly like spring just to spite me, but I’ll know the truth.)

Candy corn is even more synonymous with Halloween, which might not be everybody’s favorite holiday, but there’s no denying it’s a lot more fun than stuffy ol’ Arbor Day for chrissakes. Think about it: it’s the one day of the year in which you get to wear a mask and nobody gives you a second glance!!

Oh…wait…

In any case, I think candy corn is a perfectly engineered food product. It was invented in the 1880s by an employee of the Wunderle Candy Company in Philadelphia named George Renninger and contains just a few simple ingredients: sugar, corn syrup, fondant (for texture), marshmallows (for softness), and wax (for lighting in the event of a power outage). I’m sorry, but any food that can double as an emergency beacon that might potentially save your life is just downright cool.

Interestingly, when I first blogged about my love of candy corn back in 2012, Michael Wunderle (heir to the candy empire) found my post and left a rather lengthy comment. Here’s an excerpt:

I stumbled upon this blog in an attempt to verify my father’s long standing claim that his great grandfather, Philip Justus Wunderle, was head of a candy factory that invented candy corn…While I may not be able to truthfully say “my great grandfather invented candy corn,” as I bragged about a few times in kindergarten, I can lay claim the king of candy corn throne via direct ancestry. Sadly, for those of you who are passionate about the taste of candy corn, you will have to exclude me from your club…If I am in the rare instance where I feel the need for some sugar, I will look elsewhere than the very strange tasting, and mysteriously holiday themed, ‘candy corn’ that explodes out of intricate glassware around the world today. Candy corn is made year round in giant vats and is not harvested in November like real corn…was this a sick joke by my great grandfather?? The world may never know…I have no clue what my great grandfather was thinking when he green lighted the production of this alien flavored and paradoxical food. Respectfully and as serious as a white chocolate bar from Hershey’s,

Michael Wunderle

See what I mean about “no middle ground”? Even the man whose great grandfather’s company first produced candy corn despises it! Still, it was a kick to hear from Michael. And how cool is blogging, anyway? You never know who’s going to discover your posts. Blog long enough and you too might have encounters with relatives of B-List celebrities. I have also received comments from Loretta Swit’s (Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan on M.A.S.H.) cousin Stan verifying her Polish ancestry, and Alfredo and Ines Di Lelio, whose grandfather created Fettuccine Alfredo.

World Wide Web indeed.

So, I’m curious: are you Team Candy Corn like me or do you loathe it with the intensity of a thousand suns like Tara? And what was your most interesting/unusual blog comment ever?



Categories: Food

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46 replies

  1. I’m going to screw up your whole theory. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t, but I neither hate nor love it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m a former member of team corn. Used to live it, can’t abide it now.
    But Hot Lips’ Polish cousin? Boy, you rubbin’ shoulders with royalty now. I can’t come close to that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 1,000 suns of hatred, for sure. Tacky looking and terrible tasting. I always felt ripped off if I got it while trick-or-treating. Seriously, neighbors, spring for the Snickers!

    But Autumn is the best, of course.

    I think my blog is only famous among racist trolls. Every so often I get a massive spike in hits and cringe because I know some incel posted a link somewhere, pissed that I opted for a Chinese-American dude who had his shit together instead of a mediocre white boy in his mom’s basement.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have only been blogging for a year, and do not much group my comments as interesting, but instead, group my followers as interesting (or not), but I will keep my favorites close to the sleeve. I am NOT a fan of candy corn, and I define “country music” as Cheap Trick playing an outdoor concert.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fall here in 4 distinct seasons land of southern Canada is definitely my favorite if only it would last longer, till, say end of November! I voted. It looks weird though, because no one chose any other options besides Fall…(although only 5 voted by the time I got there…)

    Anyway, fall is in, and the vote is still out for candy corn because I have yet to try some.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. OMG Mark…I L.O.V.E candy corn!!!! Yet, it’s one of those thing though that once I start, I can’t stop.

    I know can you believe it? There are already Halloween displays in places like, Walgreen’s, CVS and Rite-Aid. I’m exited though because I CAN’T wait for FALL!!!!!

    And yes, I remember reading that comment back in 2012!

    Years ago I wrote a post about how the acting school I attended in NYC (The American Academy of Dramatic Arts) rejected me after my first year, and didn’t ask me back for a second year. The next day I got an email from someone at the school who read my post and apologized for the rejection, and then invited me to come back whenever I’m in NYC to see the shows they put on for the public. For FREE! Even to this day, I get emails with invitations. HA!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I like the white part, that’s it. What a cool comment from the Candy Corn heir. My favorite comment was from the Chex Mix Guy. I was honored that he weighed in one time.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I like Candy Corn. Not love it, but like it.

    Most interesting blog comment? A commenter who worked from home told me she was illegally doing someone else’s work; then this other person represented the work as her own, paying the commenter under the table to do this. People tell me things all the time, but this one was… unique… seemingly an admission of guilt that could get her in big trouble.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Candy Corn would win out over Peeps for sure, but why is it so difficult just to stick with chocolate and caramel anything. If you have chocolate and caramel, there really is no need for anything else.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I liked candy corn as a kid, but wouldn’t touch it now. Like most food, it’s not so much that I don’t like the flavor, it’s more that there are so many better candy choices out there, so why waste the calories on mediocre?

    Way back in the day, I scored a few comments from some guy who was a ‘famous Dad blogger’ on the East Coast. By famous, I mean that was his career and he spoke at Blogger conventions and such. I have no idea if he’s still blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That heir to the Candy Corn Empire has a way with words.

    I’m actually kinda meh about the candy. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either. I’ve tried it a few times, and I’ll eat it if there’s some on a cupcake. But like most candies, I can’t eat too much anyway. My tolerance for sugar has evaporated, much to the relief of my pancreas, I imagine.

    But now I want to buy some just to see how long they burn…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m Team Candy Corn, but not with quite the same fervor as you. If a Halloween passes and I don’t have any, it doesn’t phase me.

    Ever since I’ve become a teacher, it’s so difficult to answer the simple “what’s your favorite season?” question. Before this career (my second), it was always fall, but now fall is wrapped up in so much stress with back-to-school. How can I not choose the burden-free season that is summer. It’s eleven (occasionally twelve) weeks of doing whatever I want while the paychecks keep rolling in. (In case anyone is unaware, teachers get paid for nine months of work but the districts stretch the salary out over 12 months.) Thus, I chose summer in your poll. However, you can count me as “fall,” although from the look of things, you won’t need to.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. My daughter Moo loves candy corn. In fact, this post reminds me I must get her some. She’s the only one here who eats the stuff. The rest of us sing to her, “I don’t like candy corn…” a tune from children’s programming when she was even smaller. I’ve shared the link, it’s terrible video, but it’s still out there, and it lives in our heads.

    Liked by 1 person

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