The Story Behind Candy Corn
Every Halloween countless party-throwers, party-goers, and trick-or-treaters hit the streets to harvest candy corn. The little yellow, orange, and white treat is an icon among the holiday candies and has a legacy that goes back more than a century.
According to oral tradition, George Renninger, a candymaker at the Wunderlee Candy Company in Philadelphia, invented the revolutionary tri-color candy in the 1880s. The Goelitz Confectionery Company brought the candy to the masses at the turn of the 20th century. The company, now called Jelly Belly Candy Co., has the longest history in the industry of making candy corn -- although the method has changed, it still uses the original recipe.
Candy corn starts as a mixture of sugar, fondant, corn syrup, vanilla flavor, and marshmallow creme. This mixture is melted into liquid candy, called slurry, and is colored and run through a cornstarch 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 in large drum pans with edible wax and glaze to create its irresistible, hand-grabbable shine.
Candy corn is such a popular choice that the mellow creme candies are now available year-round in a variety of colors to suit the seasonal holiday:
- For Thanksgiving, serve Indian corn, which is brown, orange, and white -- the brown section is chocolate-flavored.
- Christmas-inspired Reindeer corn is green, white, and red.
- Cupid corn is pink, red, and white for Valentine's Day.
- For Easter, load up on Bunny corn, which comes in a variety of pastel colors.
Continued on page 2: Candy Corn Facts and Display Ideas