Every Halloween, I and other trick-or-treaters harvest a lot of candy corn. The little yellow, orange, and white treat is a favorite among holiday candies. I especially like the candy corn with the brown or chocolate base. This candy has become my favorite at Halloween and goes back more than a century.
In the 1800’s, a candy maker George Renninger at the Wunderlee Candy Company in Philadelphia, invented the tricolor candy. The Goelitz Confectionery Company brought the candy to the public 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 George’s 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 became so popular that the creme candies are now available year-round in a many colors to fit a particular holiday:
On Thanksgiving, we serve Indian corn, which is brown, orange, and white — the brown section is chocolate-flavor.
Christmas has reindeer corn in green, white, and red.
Valentine’s day has Cupid corn in pink, red, and white.
On Easter, you can load up on bunnies, eggs, chicks, which come in a variety of pastel color.
Did you know, once the package is opened and you store candy corn covered away from heat and light; it should last three to six months. If unopened, packaged candy corn will last about nine months. That bowl of candy corn is still as fresh as the day it was created. I’m not sure I would want to eat it. I have to admit I have some marshmallow bunnies from last Easter and test tasted them a month ago. They were still soft and tasty. So enjoy your Halloween candy right into the New Year. You don’t have to eat it all at once. 🙂