Love it or Hate it: Candy Corn

by David Holub

Love it

I had to go home sick from work once from eating too much candy corn. You might blame the sugar or the corn syrup or the Yellow 6 or Red 5 or the pure unadulterated artificialness of everything that is candy corn. But really, it was the amount, a quantity somewhere between “an embarrassing number of handfuls” and “the whole bag.” Like a dog willing to eat its weight in unattended tamales, once I started on the candy corn, I couldn’t stop.

Yes, it’s about the flavor. Like marshmallows, candy corn is essentially pure sugar, dyed and reconstructed with that one-of-a-kind uber-sweetness and a dollop of mystery honey-vanilla flavor. Add a layer of fake sugar chocolate and I’ll eat myself sick twice as fast.

But don’t forget the satisfying texture. Unlike a Jolly Rancher that requires sucking for a good long while, or a Hershey’s Kiss that seems too chunky and indulgent to chew from the start, candy corn strikes a perfect balance for large-scale candy consumption: Hard enough to avoid slow-you-down chewiness (I’m looking at you, Gummy Bears and caramel) but soft and small enough to keep them coming like they were Pringles.

And really, you can only feel good about eating these fall-festive wondermorsels once a year. My innards thank me.

— David Holub

Hate it

Let me be clear: I love Halloween and everything the sugar-loaded holiday stands for. I love the costumes, the skeletons and especially the spiked apple cider.

Candy is great, chiefly the chocolate variety. Although trick-or-treating is fun, my fondest Halloween memories are of after the candy collecting is over. Together with my siblings, we would set up little booths with all of our candy on display. We would barter and trade, and I always ended up with all the Kit-Kats and Milky Ways because I can drive a hard bargain.

[image:0]The most common candy I traded away, beside the Reese’s I would owe my mother as a tariff, was candy corn. Those pesky little pebbles of Halloween cheer actually taste like the moth balls used to keep my costume fresh in my closet. Candy corn is an insult to candy everywhere! Unlike other sweets that enhance the taste of sugar, candy corn is just waxy, nearly tasteless sugar. When’s the last time anyone thought it was a good idea to eat a spoonful of sugar? From experience, I can tell you that’s a dumb idea, and so is eating candy corn.

— Raychel Johnson


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