It’s National Candy Corn Day: 5 Strange Facts About These Sweet Kernels

candy corn

Yes, there’s actually corn in it. Corn syrup, if that counts.

Each kernel has three colors, about 7 calories and a lot of sugar. Many people, including comedian Lewis Black, can’t stand it.

And yet every October, it fills candy bowls, trick-or-treat bags and the mouths of sweet-toothed snackers everywhere.

For millions, it wouldn’t be Halloween without candy corn.

Manufacturers will produce more than 35 million pounds of the humble tricolored candy this year. That’s almost 9 billion pieces.

With National Candy Corn Day approaching on Thursday, here are some things you may not know about the polarizing confection.

People love it or hate it
For an innocuous little treat, candy corn sure sparks strong opinions. When CNN polled people on Facebook last year about it, we got more than 1,200 comments.

“It is a serious weakness. I’m sick from eating it all night,” one woman said.

“HATE it and I cannot emphasize the word hate enough,” said another.

Roughly three-quarters of the people surveyed on Facebook said they liked the stuff.

“For me, October’s candy gauntlet arrives in the form of a little tri-colored mellocreme known as candy corn,” wrote Samira Kawash in The Atlantic. “I can pass by the Hershey’s Kisses and the mini-Snickers. But when I get to the bowl of candy corn, all bets are off.”

You can count Black among the haters, though. In one of his stand-up bits, the comic jokes that manufacturers just collect and resell the same candy kernels year after year, because nobody actually eats the stuff.

“All the candy corn that’s ever been made was made in 1911,” he says.

It used to be made by hand in large kettles
Candy corn seems like a relatively modern invention, but it dates to the 1880s, before the automobile and the commercial telephone. The Goelitz Candy Co. began making it in 1900 before the family-run operation changed its name to the Jelly Belly Candy Co., which still produces candy corn today.

In the early days of the 20th century, workers cooked sugar, corn syrup, marshmallow and other ingredients into a slurry in large kettles and then poured the warm mixture by hand into cornstarch trays imprinted with the kernel shape.

Today, of course, machines do almost all the work.

Click here to read more.

Brandon Griggs

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