By Fran Lane

Trick or Treat for a Halloween favorite. Candy Corn has a fascinating legacy that goes back over a hundred years. The Philadelphia based Wunderlee Candy Company’s George Renninger, invented this popular candy back in the 1880′s.

Wunderlee Candy Company was the first to manufacture candy corn as a result. Then, in 1900, the Goelitz Candy Company (which later became the Jelly Belly Candy Company) started making these candies and continues to make candy corn to this day.

When candy corn was first introduced, it gained instant popularity among farmers as it looked like an actual piece of corn. The three colors on a single piece of candy was revolutionary in its day~ people went bonkers for it. Candy corn is the same now as it was way back then and is a Halloween favorite.

Back in 1900, it took quite a few workers to make candy corn eight months out of the year. The corn syrup, sugar, and other candy corn ingredients were cooked together in massive pots, producing a watery mixture. A thick, creamy sugar paste and marshmallow are mixed in to provide a smooth texture and kick. Then, the 45 pounds of molten hot candy were transferred into smaller buckets referred to as runners. Workers (called stringers) then emptied the candy into cornstarch molds which gave the candy corn their kernel shape. Three passes were needed to layer the white, then orange, then yellow colors. Back then, candy corn was carried in wagons, packed in wooden crates and barrels.

Today, nearly 8.3 billion candy corn kernels are sold every year- 80% of which are sold during the months of September and October. The process for making candy corn is very similar today. Instead of “stringers”, machines do most of the work.
A serving of candy corn has about 22 pieces and contains 140 calories, no fat. While it is just about all sugar, the sweet can still be a better choice than a couple of mini candy bars or other Halloween treats that are high in both calories and in fat. Additionally, 22 pieces of candy corn will last a lot longer than one mini candy bar will. Happy Halloween~

Candy Corn

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