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Why Is It Called Candy Corn

by Lyndon Langley
Why Is It Called Candy Corn

Why Is It Called Candy Corn

Candy corns are a type of confection that has been made for over 100 years, and they’re still as popular today as ever. The first iteration was created by George Renninger, who worked at the Wunderlee Candy Company in Iowa during the 1880s. He is said to have come up with it while working on another project called “stringers,” which were men nicknamed because they would walk backward while filling candy onto paper molds imprinted with the kernel shape. Renninger’s creation wasn’t exactly a hit back then — his employer reportedly gave out only about 50 pounds of candy per year. But he kept experimenting with new flavors and textures until finally producing what we now know as candy corn!
The name “candy” comes from its use of sugar instead of chocolate or caramel to coat the kernels. This makes it taste more like candy than popcorn, but also gives it a softer texture. When you pop your own candy corn, all you do is melt some white sugar over a double boiler, add corn syrup and vanilla extract, and stir constantly until the mixture reaches 275 degrees Fahrenheit. You can buy pre-made packets of candy corn at most grocery stores, too. There are even recipes online for making your very own candies using ingredients such as condensed milk, peanut butter, marshmallows and other tasty treats.
Before we get to how candy corn actually tastes, let’s talk about where it came from. Popcorn isn’t really a nut — technically, it’s a seed. So why did Renninger call it a nut? Because it looks sort of similar to one, right? In fact, Renninger had no idea what he’d stumbled upon when he began creating this product. All he knew was that he wanted to make something sweet and crunchy that looked like popcorn. That’s probably why he chose to base it off of that particular snack food. If you’ve never tried popping your own before, here’s a little tutorial. Pour two cups of oil into a large pot, set the heat to 400 degrees Farenheit, and place a metal mesh rack inside the pan so there are lots of holes. Put a lid on top and shake vigorously every few minutes until the popcorn starts popping. Depending on how much popcorn you want, keep shaking the pan once every 30 seconds or so, stopping after about three minutes. As soon as the popping slows down, take the lid off and pour the popped seeds into a bowl. Then just season them with salt, pepper and anything else you like. Yum!
So, what does candy corn taste like? Well, it’s pretty close to actual popcorn. A lot of people say it has a hint of cinnamon and clove mixed in, but many claim it’s not spicy at all. Some think it tastes kind of like cotton candy, since both are made primarily out of sugar. Others compare it to popcorn with melted butter added. And if you like peanuts or other nuts, you’ll love the mix of flavor. Some people claim it tastes like candy corn dipped in chocolate, while others say it’s best eaten plain. Personally, I find it to be sweeter than any other type of confection. For those with a strong preference towards spice, though, there are several different types available including red, orange, green and yellow. Since it’s made with real corn, you don’t need to worry about any additives from preservatives or fillers.
To eat candy corn without having to wait hours for it to cool, try taking a piece straight out of the freezer. To avoid getting soggy bits stuck in between your teeth, give yourself enough time to chew each kernel thoroughly. Or you could always dip it in chocolate or drizzle it with melted caramel.
Now that you know everything there is to know about candy corn, let’s move on to the next page and learn about how it got its unique color.
Colorful Color Scheme

Although candy corn doesn’t contain any dyes or artificial colors, its natural coloring is supposed to look nice and uniform. What’s interesting is that candy corn is naturally colored due to the presence of pigments found in corn starch and dextrose. These compounds break down into glucose within the body. Glucose reacts with iron salts in the mouth to form oxides. Oxide particles eventually settle on the surface of the corn kernel and absorb light, giving it its characteristic bright orange hue.
As for the exact shade of orange, opinions vary, but some believe it leans toward the lighter end of the spectrum. While the NCA says that “the official measurement of yellow in U.S. standards is based on L*a*b values rather than specific hues,” it adds that “color differences among products are often small.” Regardless of whether you prefer a darker or lighter version, candy corn will likely appeal to everyone thanks to its rich flavor and colorful appearance.
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