Who does not love candy corn? Hardly anyone can recall a Halloween spent trick-or-treating without receiving a handful of these sweet, delightful kernels – and rightly so. First produced in the 1880s, this classic candy has become an American favorite, and has even inspired a Christmas tree design!
But did you know that there’s more to candy corn than meets the eye? Here are some crazy candy corn facts that you probably haven’t heard:
- National Candy Corn Day is celebrated on October 30. This date being the day just before Halloween, we bet it was invented by adults as an excuse to get candy corn into their tummies before kids could take them away!
- Candy corn has 3.57 calories per kernel. In fact, one cup of candy corn has only 140 calories – lower than the calorie content of one cup of raisins. These little kernels contain mostly sugar and corn syrup, with small amounts of marshmallows and fondant for a soft texture. It’s also completely fat-free!
- If you put together all the candy corn made in a single year, you’d have 35 million pounds or 9 billion kernels — enough candy to go to the moon and back 21 times if laid end-to-end.
- Candy corn used to be available only between March to November because of the availability of the ingredients. Since then, corn syrup and sugar have become available year-round, letting you buy candy corn whenever you feel like it.
- Candy corn is not just for Halloween. Different variants include “Indian corn”, a brown, orange, and white kernel for Thanksgiving; blueberry coddler candy corn, a uniquely Canadian variety; “reindeer corn”, with a green end and red center made for Christmas; and the red-and-pink “cupid corn”, which is available during Valentine’s Day.
- History played a role in making candy corn what it is today: when it was first made in the 1880s, candy corn (which was called “buttercream” back then) was a hit with farmers because of its appearance and because it provided them with energy for long days in the field.
- Because of its popularity, candy makers experimented with other vegetable shapes, such as turnips. In the 1970s, many candy companies had to close shop due to a rise in sugar prices. Other companies stayed afloat, thanks to the seasonal demand for candy corn.
- Candy corn was first made by hand. The ingredients were combined and cooked in large kettles. The mixture was then poured into hand-made molds. It was a backbreaking process that required a lot of labor. Of course, everything is now made by special machines.
Next time you open a pack of candy corn, think of the history and the effort that made it the holiday favorite that it is now. As you chew on those cute little kernels of fun, remember that you are not just enjoying a candy; you’re also taking part in a tradition. Enjoy munching!