It may indeed be harvest time where you live, but don't expect farmers in your area to be harvesting ears of candy corn anytime soon! This sweet treat that's a Halloween favorite may look like corn, but it doesn't grow on the cob.
Candy corn is a candy that's most popular each fall around Halloween, but it is usually available in stores year-round. Pieces of traditional candy corn are tricolored with a wide yellow end, a narrower orange center, and a pointed white tip.
The unique tricolor candy corn pieces are meant to resemble kernels of corn. However, the average piece of candy corn is about three times larger than a normal kernel of corn.
Candy corn has been around a long, long time. It was invented in the 1880s by George Renninger of the Wunderle Candy Company.
At the time, its tricolor design was revolutionary. Plus, it was a big hit with the farmers!
Today, candy corn is still a big hit. The National Confectioners Association estimates that more than 35 million pounds — or about 9 billion kernels — of candy corn are produced each year. That's a lot of candy corn!
Although candy corn was originally made by hand, today it is manufactured by machines using a special process called "corn starch modeling."
Candy corn is made mostly of sugar, corn syrup (so there really is some corn in it), artificial coloring, and binders to give it a soft, marshmallow-like texture inside. Although it's super-sweet, candy corn happens to be fat-free.
Because of its popularity at Halloween, candy manufacturers have developed several varieties of candy corn that are sold at other times of the year. Here are some of the other types of candy corn and their colors:
- Harvest corn (brown/orange/white) is often available around Thanksgiving.
- Reindeer corn (red/green/white) is made for Christmas.
- Cupid corn (red/pink/white) makes a great treat on Valentine's Day.
- Bunny corn (pink, green, yellow or purple/white) hops around every Easter.