The Scorn of Candy Corn
Today's episode is brought to you by splendid table this thanksgiving. Make sure that the splendid table podcast and radio show is your kitchen companion throughout November Francis lamb and the splendid table team will be covering all the bases from life-changing gravy techniques to drinking more and better. Champagne, we always approve of that to a soul food thanksgiving celebration with chef Carla hall and on Thanksgiving Day. Don't miss their annual Turkey, confidential. It's alive Colin show for a full two hours Francis. And it's liberty guests Dorie Greenspan summing Nosrat and Patty hitch will answer whatever questions you may have on the busiest cooking day of the year. You can listen and call in from splendid table dot org or wherever you listen to podcasts. Hello and welcome to savor. I'm and I'm Laurin Boko bomb. And today we're talking about candy corn. We are. We really missed an opportunity to scary like pun name. Oh, well, yes, we're talking about. Which I guess if you're listening to this day, it comes out, perhaps you're near post Halloween Hayes. Maybe you still have some little packets of candy corn sitting around. Yes. And maybe you're really excited about that. Or maybe you are very not excited about that. Because people tend to fall into one of those two camps. Yes. The polarizing candy. It is extremely polarizing I would say one of the most divisive of the candies. I I think the circus. Peanut is the worst. Oh, heck, okay. All right. That's a whole other episodes tastes, like styrofoam banana flavored styrofoam. Does it happen? NF waiver. Yeah. Usually well time called candy corn the most polarizing candy of them all net basis. Brand passion index found them to be the most traditional candy of Halloween. These two loved by consumers one that generated quote, the most negative feelings in the words of Lewis. Black candy corn is the only candy in the history of America. That's never been advertised. And there's a reason all of the candy corn that was ever made was made in nineteen eleven. Or you have this from Chow hound quote. I think only serial killers eat candy corn. And why a person would choose candy corn over literally any other Gandhi that's on sale. At Walgreens is beyond me. Okay. Or how about this headline from atlas obscure, quote, a cloying kernel of evil the history of candy corn or this nickname statements earwax or this claim the leftover crumbs guy fear. He's go t would taste better than candy corn. Oh snap. Yeah. That's an image. That took me to a place. Does it really paints a picture? Apparently. There was a cartoon character named moose a moose on a past Nick junior show, moose Z that was known for among other things his Halloween song called. I don't like candy corn. But me, personally, I'm actually kind of ambivalent about it. Yeah. Okay. That's very measured of you. It's fun. When I was a kid. It was definitely low to your candy. But you know, candy it, right? It's still made of sugar. How about you? I like candy corn. I sort of like the texture in just the sort of like nice mellow flavor to it. And I mean, but I only ever want to eat like six pieces of it a year and indefinitely does not come in bags of six pieces. Right. And so I don't know like once every couple of years, I like let myself by some and then I have about six pieces, but I'm like, okay. Done here, and then just slowly goes stale. That sounds like a fad short story. That's metaphor for something else. You know? I'm not sure what I'm gonna ponder on that later. What's your least favorite candy? Oh, goodness. I guess smarties. Like, I don't really understand why they exist. Yeah. I did rebuilt a lot of people who like candy corn likes smarties. Really? Yeah. I think it's the texture is similar. It's not similar at all. I'll some people think it is. It's definitely. Very share about this. If candy corn I'm talking about like, the powdery the Chaki smarties, not the like chewy candies smarter candies are just fine with the chalky ones. You're like why did you press sugar into this format? Like, why would you do this? Explain to me. Yeah. I demand answers. Well, you know, where to reach us. So if you need to get the most angry mail said we've ever done Lauren likes candy corn side note the day before Halloween October thirtieth is candy corn day. National candy coin day here in the United States. That's right. But this brings us to our question candy corn. What is it? Well, candy corn is what's called a Mallow cream mellow Creamer. Malik cream candy. It's made from different kinds of sugar and his flavored with a little bit of vanilla to taste sorta like marshmallows, but the texture is smooth and creamy like a less chewy caramel or or like room temperature chewy ice cream, a like, solid frosting like smoother marzipan. I feel like you're trying to fit an idea. My face is like. It is increase frantic. And he's not buying this plan. They usually have a shiny glaze. And they are super sweet like I would say that the main flavor profile is sweet and candy corn in particular is shaped like kernels of corn. And is typically try colored white orange and yellow one of the sugars used to make it is corn syrup. So yes, there is some Cornyn candy corn, technically. We should call is in defensive candy corn. Man. I can't stop what video game is it. That has the character named Mallow. Oh, goodness. I'm not sure. Well listeners right in because now I'm consumed with this one thought. What K was that? A knee looked like a big marshmallow now that I look back on it. Anyway, you have a whole Google a whole Google just for me. Well, another thing for me to do later. But for now, let's talk about. How candy corn is made. Yeah, it's pretty cool, actually. Okay. The process can go a couple of ways, but basically start by heating up a blend of table sugar and corn syrup, and then whisking in some more sugar and some gelatin and whipping that to create like a sort of stiff fluff like meringue almost fondants is then added to increase the density of the fluff. And then you separate it out into different batches for coloring. It is a molded candy and the molds can be made either by packing cornstarch into frames. And then stamping the Colonel shape into the cornstarch or you can get a plastic mould and coat it with a fine layer of cornstarch. But either way you've got these molds and the the colonel's in the Molder tip down. Yeah. And so then pumps inject the batter into the moulds layer by layer starting with the white tip. And then the orange center and then the yellow top or. The bottom as the I mean, however, you want to look at it. Yeah. That's your worldview. Oh, are you bought up? This got real deep it did. But yes. So once they are in the malls, the candies are left to cure in those molds for a day or two and when they are hardened. They are kind of shaken out of the molds, and then coated with us, shiny wax, and packaged the whole process takes three or four days and funded. I mentioned is one of the ingredients. It's this pliable sculptural sort of Sugardo if you've never heard of it. It's made from powdered sugar corn syrup and water and maybe other stuff like gelatin or melted marshmallows. And if you've ever seen one of those fancy smooth sided cakes on TV or like at a catered event, it's probably decorated with funding. So yeah. One of the ingredients. In candy corn is more other candy. Different. Other candy share? I thought funding for a while was pronounced fund you, and then it was just a, you know, beard, spelling. Yeah. And I thought it was melted. Chocolate like fondue. Oh, yeah. That's not what it is. I know you can make a chocolate funding. But it's one of those things I'm not sure why ever thought that. But my brain was trying to make here you go. That's what that is. No. And all those different types of sugar are used because sucrose aka table sugar really likes to be in crystal form like big chunky crystal form, it's molecules just like stacking up together. Like that to convince it to have a fine smooth texture. Like you want for confections like candy corn? You have to kind of trick sucrose into not chunking up and corn syrup is a good stabiliser f for this. Because it contains available glucose and glucose molecules are a little bit smaller, and they started like bust up in between the sucrose molecules and like interfere with crystallization process. So yeah. And he disapproves of all of this. And I would argue that this texture is the primary part of candy corn that people who like it or dislike it are thinking about because the flavor is really mild. It's just like a little bit of vanilla maybe a tiny bit of like Honey kind of flavor in there. Little bit of like burnt sugar kind of flavor. But I Representative from jelly belly told realist that the flavor is quote, a blend of creamy fund rich marshmallow and warm vanilla notes those form vanilla notes L. Yeah. Wonderful. Jess. Symphony show that is an interesting point though. Because a lot of the complaints. I read about candy corn word texture based and for most of my friends a lot of them. They don't like a food. It is texture related. Yes. Kind of an interesting thing. I don't think I have a food for the textures the main thing that turns me off her onto it. I don't know. I love the texture of some foods lets by like, I guess like bread and pasta and Comey's so much. But yeah, the same batter. For candy corn is used to make other shapes. Sometimes like we do pumpkins and some people love them in two thousand sixteen bona petite ran a article with the headline the best candy is mellow cream pumpkins because this isn't even a contest. Didn't vote if the once it was the worst kid, you know. Oh, phone a Petit. So how does one eat candy corn? There are actually instructions about how to do this area's eightfold. Forty three percent of us. Go top down nibbling at the narrow end. I like how most people not me. Eat a piece of pizza about forty seven percent. Eat them whole and the risk. Oh from the bottom of the triangle up, which is how I eat my pizza. For the record. There's no difference flavor. Wise between the three sections. I mean, I guess you're getting the highest concentration of glaze when you eat the white tip and the the highest concentration of Mallow cream when you eat the wide yellow end. But yeah, they're not different flavors. Yeah. And another searing essay, I wrote on candy corn wrote or read read. Yes, I have. I have not written a searing us and candy corn. One of the writers complaints was as a kid. He expected. Different flavors saw the three colors. Yeah. And he felt lied to. Oh, I see. Yeah. If you wanna be upset about something. I recommend googling candy corn on the cob because there are photographs of this out there. And it's I was upset personally you can create a decorative corncob. Using candy corn kernels stuck into the base of like stiff modeling fund enter like cookie dough something like that. I was mad at it. I don't know why I got so angry. But I was like this is natural. And I disapprove I putting by foot down. That's it humanity. But what about that, but pumpkin keg? I showed you where the it was a pumpkin cooler and the people had just oh, that's great stuck the the next beard. I mean, it's also upsetting a certain point. But like, it's one of my favorite images. I've just randomly stumbled upon for some reason, I was picturing when you mentioned you said candy corn on the cob the colonel's pointing out like pinhead almo oh, that's also a little bit upsetting. But exciting, but it doesn't make sense. I mean, the whole thing doesn't make sense. But you know, it also doesn't make sense is that apparently people deep fried candy corn yet, no humanity. You can go right to your room. We're done here. If we're talking about nutrition. I mean, they're mostly sugar herpes. They're only about seven calories. I mean there candy. Yeah. They're fat free, but sugar isn't a health food. Nope. Nope. That's probably not news to you. If we look at numbers as of twenty thirteen nine billion pieces of candy corn are produced a year. That's thirty five million pounds jelly belly. Which is one of the premier national makers of candy corn says that they make most of it during July and preparation for the Halloween season. And according to Brock's, they make which is one of the other leading manufacturers they make over two million pieces per day when their line is like really up and running. Wow, you can get other varieties rather than the classic the Halloween fall colors. You can get red white and green for Christmas. That's reindeer corn pink red and white for Valentine's Day cupid corn and for a while candy corn was a popular addition to the garden of Easter baskets. Bunny corn? Yeah. There's also freedom corn for the fourth of July freedom corden corn. Oh my goodness. But most everyone if they're eating candy corn. They're eating the Halloween slash fall variety. One study from the national confectioners association survey found that candy corn was the preferred Halloween candy of only twelve percent of respondents, which seemed to me, honestly. But it was number two after chocolate. Yeah. Which was like seventy percent. So it's not really a contest. But I mean, yeah, I don't know by sales data from two thousand seven to two thousand seventeen candy corn was the favourite Halloween candy in seven states, Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico and Rhode Island. I don't want to keep hammering this point home. But I read so many essays about why people hate candy corn like passionate essays. And I think it was somebody from Michigan wrote, essentially, I'm not mad. I'm just disappointed. Did when they heard. Candy cardinals their favorite candy. Oh, favorite Halloween. Candy specific. Yes. Yes. Still. But yes worth noting. Not only this you can get candy corn flavored bagels. So that fall into your realm of acceptable bagels. No, no, I cussed really loud in my head. When I read that actually, I suspected you might. Yeah. You can get candy corn flavored Oreos, candy corn, coffee, panic Cada and all of the Drake's candy corn. Cocktail Cain corn. Beer candy corn jello shots. Starburst? Flavored candy corn pumpkin spice flavored candy corn. Apparently opened candy corn can last sixteen months. If you start properly an airtight container or in the fridge. There you go. Make your candy corn last almost all year. Well, that's our overview of this most divisive of candies. But how did candy corn get here? We'll look into that. After a quick break for word from her sponsor. Today's episode is brought to you by Hello fresh, which is a meal kit delivery service that shops plans and delivers step by step recipes and premeasured ingredients. So that you can just cook eat and enjoy there's something for everyone with hellofresh selection. There are three plans to choose from classic veggie and family, and the thing I love about it is that it convenient. I don't have to go to the grocery store. I don't have to plan out a meal, it shows up and everything is there and pre-measured and ready for me to start working. And it's fun. 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Unlike most candies candy corn pretty specifically American, according to the trade association. Candy corn was invented in the way, back the way back in this case being the eighteen eighty courtesy of an employee of the Wunderle candy company named George richer out of Philadelphia. This is sort of the trend at the time so called Buttercream candies molded into different shapes. But what really made candy corn stand out from the pack was those three colors are a real pain in the butt to make at the time. The end product though was eye catching and new they sold the recipe to another candy maker one by the name of Google. That's candy company. You may know it by another name, let jelly belly candy company. They came out with their own tri-colored candy corn in eighteen ninety eight. The glitz family had been in the candy business for a few decades. But candy corn and other mellow cream can. Indies then called butter creams were there runaway success at the time. This candy was made manually in decent sized kettle. Candy makers would mix a semi liquid sugar court surp- funded marshmallow and water the resulting slurry was poured into buckets called stringers. And then these dues called runners would walk in rivers pouring, the mixture into Colonel shaped molds each layer was Horton by hand from these stringer buckets on an individual run down the line of malls. So, you know, one free color and the buckets were called stringers because they didn't have like a single spout. They had this whole row of spouts or sort of like funnel heads kind of. And so by reaching the stringer out over a row of molds and tipping it. Just so you could fill the whole row in a single poor cool and the molds were made of cornstarch as they are today. Sometimes this was an innovation in candy making from around that time, and yeah instead of using a metal or wooden mold which you might need to Greece somehow to prevent the candy from sticky. You could press shapes into firm packed cornstarch. And you know, your candy batters sticks to that a little bit too. But that's actually a good thing. Because it imparts like a fine layer of cornstarch on the candy that helps it set. Another thing about the time that's important to this is that about half, the American workforce were farmers that meant that a lot of companies targeted them and their families directly with these farm, adjacent shapes. Yeah. Other shapes for mala creams included. Yes. Pumpkins, but also turnips chestnuts and clovers, although it was only made for a few months out of the year due to the labor intensive creation process. It was marketed as a year round treat, the Gould's is would eventually develop a machine that made hand pouring the candies. Obsolete supposedly after one of the owners woke up in the middle of the night was shooting back pain from having poured candy out of these stringer buckets all day fix. I've got to put an end to this. Yes. No mall in the nineteen twenties. Folks, gave candy corn the. Possibly affectionate named chicken feed. The manufacturers sold it in a box with the chicken on the front. The motto of the Gullit's candy companies version was quote king of the candy corn field something worth crowing for and I will say it was sort of a a gimmicky candy for children at like county fairs. Yeah. Hey kids, it's like chicken chicken feed malls. Yeah. Yeah. Prior to World War. One corn was a food Americans generally a skewed. It was seen as a poor person's food, and the teast wasn't really that great animal feed not human food, but thanks to wartime shortages of wheat Americans came around to corn candy corn, though that caught on pretty quick also that the sweeter hybrids of corn that we eat fresh today hadn't been developed yet. But yeah at the time even like grits and corn flour and stuff like that. We're looked down upon by some segments of the population. We wouldn't get more dependable hybrids of speak corn. You know, like the fresh stuff that we eat like. Vegetable until like, the nineteen thirty s and onward from there. And this just about brings us to Halloween, but I it brings us to one last quick break for word from our sponsor. Killer murders, gripped the small town of hollow falls a decade ago by the end of the killing spree six people, including my amp Beth were dead. The police discovered a handwritten note next to her body and decided it was her confession. But my aunt was no killer. The mission of this podcast is simple to uncover the truth to clear, my aunt's name to put the real killer behind bars or die trying. I'm Tig Taurus. And this is lethal. Lethal lit a Tig Torres mystery a six part scripted podcast series coming to your favorite podcast app. Mondays starting October twenty ninth. Subscribe now to never miss an episode. And we're back. Thank you sponsor. Yes. Thank you. So when did candy corn become associated with Halloween? You ask we hope you ask because we're going to answer and the answer is sometime in the nineteen fifties. Interestingly though, and add that came out in the very same decade. Declared candy corn eight year. Long candy a nineteen fifty one grocery store at read quote. The candy all children loved nimble on all year long. And there's a nineteen fifty seven Brock's ad that includes candy corn in his spread of summertime. Candies. Summertime. Gandhi's up until this point candy corn was sold as a penny candy candy targeted towards children that were sold in bulk also up until this point lots of candy makers were in on the game. A lot of people were making types of candy corn. But nowadays, we have jelly belly and Brock's. And that's about it on a nationwide scale. That's just about it. Ads for candy corn in the fifties. Other than that, though, largely went all in on them being a Halloween, candy way more. So than other candies to the point that people started to think it was weird to eat it outside of Halloween times, they succeeded in associating it with Halloween, but then it became all just Halloween. Exactly, basically. Yeah. And this was also the aero when Halloween became associated with candy in general prior to this trick or treating might have not used some homemade baked goods or homemade candies but post World War Two and post the sugar rations that came with World War. Two candy companies started marketing, they're packaged candies is this like cool inconvenient handout for trick. Or treaters and simultaneously trick. Or treating was really cemented itself. As like a family tradition in America yet. A nother candy corn related thing that happened in the fifties candy related illness after one particular Halloween a lot of trick or treaters experienced gastrointestinal. Stress or even rashes and welts the cause was orange die in a member one and only enlarge amounts was it causing these issues. It makes me wonder just how much these large amounts. We're talking. It wasn't. Just candy corn that used orange-dyed number one all kinds of things did from hot dogs to candy pumpkins, though, it had been approved all the way back in nineteen zero six it was actually poisonous. Yeah. Yeah. It was made a coal tar. Well, it was derived from coal tar, which isn't aspartame again, like we are all made of chemicals things can be derived from a number of petroleum products. And if you have a problem with the use of petroleum products in general than that's a bad thing, maybe environmentally or or something like that. But the chemical itself, you know, isn't maintaining some kind of property of coal or Trillium its chemical. We are all made of chemicals every time you say that it makes me think of the Moby song you're all made of stars. I like my version better. So yeah, it was a really big thing through the fifties and the sixties, and then we started to get the more modern eras of candy making with all the, you know, sour flavors in different weird chocolate treats, and all that kind of stuff and the dominance of it through that specific era has led some candy experts to speculate that it's an established thing for the baby boomer generation who grew up with it being this specific Halloween treat, and that it just confuses the heck out of gen Xers and millennials who, you know, had more options when we were kids that makes sense. Yeah. Nostalgia is a powerful thing. It reminds me of this experience. I had when I was taking a lift couple months ago. It was really late. And I lift driver was an older African American woman. I was clearly like out of it. She says would you like some candy? And I said, oh, and she's like take some candy. And I was like, okay. So no, no, no, no, no, take some candy. I take it. And it's a candy. I've never seen before. Lord. I I don't know. What it is. I can't tell you what it was. But it looks like a lifesaver believe it was called apple. Oh, oh, yeah. Yeah. I put it in my mouth, and it becomes clear that this is a candy. That's never going to go away. Oh, and she sort of Snickers, and she says back in my day candy was going to last you for months. Okay. Andy these days, that's not the real thing. That's not. How candy supposed to be? Then she wouldn't all these stories about how she would take this candy and put it in like a Kleenex Ellen like stay home back for later. And she teach her grandkids a lesson because they would come and try to steal her candy, and she'd be like well jokes on you kid because that was. It was quite the memorable lift that's great though. It was it was I thought I appreciated the whole thing as we record this Halloween has not happened yet. And as I mentioned in another episode, I have five candies. I have to get for free. And I have all but one. Oh, yeah. Yeah. And our office manager saw me like dive for an almond joy the other day, they're very rare. So I gotta find a butterfinger. All right. Cross your fingers formula news. I think your finger thoughts. To be free. I can't buy it. This is the rule. I don't know. What will happen? I think the university. It'll be like the end of cabinet in the woods. Oh, yeah. Get. In everybody's best interest at this happens. Yeah. All keep an eye out. I will. But I think if you buy it won't count either it has to just appear somehow. Okay. You have to forge it in the wild. Exactly exactly growing nixes some Sean drills. Well, that's my next couple of days just searching for a butterfinger. If you see me wandering around. Well, good luck. Thank you. Yeah. Thank you. And meanwhile, that concludes our candy corn episode and brings us to Liz. Our first letter is from Kevin Kevin wrote when I was in college I worked at fast food restaurant having been raised by frugal. Parents. We are brought up not to waste food or anything really so working at Hardee's making sandwiches for the potential customer throwing them out if they weren't purchased within fifteen to twenty minutes was quite a pickle to be in. I remember asking the manager about all this waste and being told that company policy and Furthermore, the health department didn't allow it to be given to the hungry. I recall a particular breakfast shift working with a co worker who put the biscuit making into high gear and sued the oven stuffed with pans of soon to be biscuits. However when the breakfast menu was closed at ten thirty. We still add biscuits baking being the clever college student I seized upon this opportunity, I did mostly as company policies policy required. But I I needed a fresh trash bag from the stockroom. I counted the trays of biscuits as I dumped them very unceremoniously into the bag. I reported the count to the manager who surely rolled her eyes that the excessive loss, and then proceeded to take out the trash which was one of my normal duties, However, I did not head to the dumpster. I walked straight to my car folding bag of biscuits and put it in my trunk some were bit smashed and miss shaped from rough treatment, but they were so much better than Pillsbury biscuits. From Ken mom, put the bulk of them in reuse schwann's ice cream buckets and stored them in the deep freeze. Sadly, the ice cream is not consumed by us as shrines brand was a bit pricey for our family. I've never heard of schwann's browned. However, we did have delicious biscuits for months, which were even better eating in our kitchen with mom's. Homemade probably strawberry preserves. Oh. Yeah. Save those biscuits, save them. So it's so funny to me, I just always assumed that food fast food restaurants just sat there forever. So this is really only a couple of hours. Well, I I'm happy that these biscuits found a home right in your stomach, absolutely. Especially. Yeah. Especially something that freezes that. Well, and like, you know, doesn't involve meter veg that we'd go off. Yeah. Sharing that would torment me too. Absolutely Laura wrote one of my friends posted a pick of something she found at the WalMart made me think of one of our previous episodes and of some funny, childhood memories of weird foods, and she attached a photograph and the photograph is of a squeeze bottle of green stuff, and it's labeled. Great value. Nickelodeon slime sauce. Yes. It's that vibrant on green color of slime. And Furthermore, the label says that you can add some fun to your plate all caps on the phone all caps on the fun. And it specifies that it has made with great value, ketchup and. Yeah, so. Yeah. That exists. Yeah. Nickelodeon. Good job. You know when I was a kid. I think that that would have been branded as ectoplasms like. Yes busters. Slimy ectoplasms or something. But I I appreciate that. Other brands are carrying on the proud tradition of unnecessarily coloring things green and marketing them as goop to children. I think that's beautiful. I think I saw Burger King us at Halloween. Burger right now in the bun is purple catch up. Yeah. All right. I'm in the market for Halloween recipes right now. So maybe I bet I'll never find this anywhere. But it's an idea. It's an idea. Absolutely. Yeah. Though, I suppose catch-up is. Already. Already. How? But it's not as novel. Anyway, thanks to both of them for writing in. If you would like to write to us if you want to tell us your opinions on candy corn, we would love to hear them. Our Email is Hello at saver, pot dot com or also on social media. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at saver pod. We do hope to hear from you. Thanks as always wore super producer Dylan Fagin who says that candy corn is his fourth. Most hated food. Thanks to you for listening. And we hope that lots more good things are coming your way. My father is Keith hunter just percent. He's known as the happy face serial killer. On one side of the coin is a loving family, man. And then on the other side of the coin he is everything that could hurt he goes from protected a predator. Happy face a new series from house to forks, new episodes out every Friday on apple podcasts or wherever you get outcast.