The History of Candy Corn: A Halloween Candy Favorite
No other candy can match the creamy taste of candy corn, a sweet Halloween favorite for more than a century. Read the history of the Halloween treat, fun candy corn facts, and ways to use the popular candy as decoration rather than just as a low-calorie snack. Plus, try our simple candy corn drink recipe that's sweet and festive.
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Candy Corn's Sweet History
The Story Behind Candy Corn
Every Halloween, countless party-throwers, partygoers, and trick-or-treaters hit the streets to harvest candy corn. The little yellow, orange, and white treat is an icon among 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 tricolor 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 their 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-flavor.
- 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.
Candy Corn Facts and Display Ideas
Fun Facts About Candy Corn
- 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. If unopened, packaged candy corn will last about nine months.
Creative Ways to Display Candy Corn
Tempt your guests and ghouls with piles of candy corn in a coordinated Halloween container -- just wrap ribbon around a glass bowl and add one of our downloadable tags. Print the candy label designs, available below, onto white paper; trim with a ruler and crafts knife, or use a paper cutter. Cut a length of ribbon or decorative paper long enough to fit around the candy dish with enough extra to overlap ends. Wrap the ribbon or paper around the candy dish and secure. Attach a candy label to the ribbon or paper.