Made you look! Tee-hee. Come on…candy corn isn’t healthy, silly. It’s nothing but sugar, artificial flavors, and food coloring. What’s healthy about that? Do you not read my articles? For shame!
Okay, I confess. I like candy corn. I know it’s not good for me, but I eat a smidge of it anyways every October. So, allow me to stretch the the term “healthy” a bit so that we don’t feel guilty about popping a few candy corns this season. Here are the best excuses I came up with for why it’s okay to indulge:
Oddly enough, I never liked candy corn as a kid, but I always liked the look of it. It’s pretty and shows real nice in glass jars.
I recall its presence at my elementary school, in little treat bags at holiday parties, scattered about displays in the mall, and happily stocked on cardboard shelves in the middle of every grocery store aisle. Candy corn reminds me of being a kid, which channels feelings of purity, freedom, and bewilderment.
Childhood is such a sweet time. As we age, we get grumpy and weird. We easily lose our innate inquisitiveness and uniqueness and slip into conformity and disenchantment. Life becomes rather lackluster and burdensome rather than colorful and full of wonder.
Candy corn not only brightens our mood with its jolly oranges and yellows, but it also reminds us of a time when we had less responsibility, less worry, and less resentment toward the world.
According to the results of my intense internet research (just kidding, it took five minutes to find this stuff), candy corn dates back to the 1880s. A man named George Renninger originally created the sugary treat for America’s agricultural demographic. Once the World War II sugar bans ended in 1946, it emerged as a mainstream staple. Companies like Jelly Belly and Brach’s took on the trend and haven’t strayed too far from the original recipe.
It’s fun to enjoy treats that have deep roots and help tell the tale of America. However, it seems America doesn’t traditionally favor the flavor. The National Confectioners Association consistently reports that most Americans prefer chocolate over any other Halloween treat. Candy corn does take runner up, but there is a heavy debate as to how to properly eat a kernel.
Personally, I find myself chomping off the yellow head then tossing the rest of it in my mouth. I get a strange satisfaction from feeling it break at its natural divides. (Told you we get weird as we age.)
Bottom line is we love candy corn because it’s part of the holiday season. It’s like red and green M&Ms at Christmas time. They taste the same as regular M&Ms, but they look like a Christmas tree and remind us of reindeer and sleigh bells! Yippee!
Candy corn livens up plain-looking cookies and inspires creative cocktails. If you don’t like the taste, it also makes for festive decorations and center pieces.
However you choose to get in the holiday mood (or not), the main thing is that you enjoy every minute of it. Embrace the tradition, nostalgia, and add your own unique spin. Make the holidays truly yours, and it’ll be your healthiest season yet.
National Geographic: The Saccharine History of Candy Corn
National Confectioners Association: Halloween Central
Martha Stewart: Candy Corn Sugar Cookies
Food Fanatic: Candy Corn Martini
Woman’s Day: 17 DIY Candy Corn Crafts That Double As Decor