Am I the only one who remembers thinking as a child that when I grew up I would buy as much candy as I wanted and eat it every day? As an adult, other than a brief flirtation with Sugar Babies, Candy Corn still has a strong hold on me. I can’t even imagine eating only one candy corn. Once I start eating them, one by one, I can’t stop until my teeth ache and my stomach starts to whine. Other than the obvious ingredient of sugar, I was curious what else made up this innocent-looking, yet seductive deliciousness.
Curiosity has lead me to research many things, but usually it’s stuff like quantum mechanics, etc. Finding out that the place of origin for candy corn was Philadelphia was interesting, since I grew up there. Maybe that explained its hold over me? Originally it was called “Chicken Feed” when it was created in the 1880s. I’m pretty sure if they had kept that name I wouldn’t be writing about it now. It’s mainly made from sugar, corn syrup, honey & salt; well, that’s all the different kinds of sweet that accounts for the I-can’t-stop-eating-it-ness.
Millions of pounds are produced each year, which is how it’s on every store counter I pass in October. Sometimes research turns up information I wish I had never found, like there are variations of candy corn created for other holidays, not just Halloween. What the—!
There’s brown/orange/white candy corn for Thanksgiving (okay, I did know about this since it’s slyly shown up in October), red/green/white for Christmas, red/pink/white for Valentine’s Day, blue/white/red for Independence Day in the United States, and Bunny Corn for Easter (two color candy: pink/green/yellow/purple mixes). The madness goes on: caramel apple, green apple candy corn, s’mores, pumpkin spice, carrot corn, birthday cake…
There’s other forms the insidious flavor has invaded: candy corn flavored bagels, flavored martinis, Halloween costumes, beer, smoothies, deep fried, etc. Of course, a “Candy Corn” movie was released in 2019, since Tony Todd is in it I’ll have to track it down.
There are studies on how people eat each piece (whole or nibble from narrow end or the wide end), truth is I’ve done all three.
In case you think I’m the only one to obsess about this there are many essays online about candy corn. Elise Taylor wrote an essay for Vogue magazine in 2017 titled: “Candy Corn: You Either Love It or Hate It, There Is No In-Between”. There’s all kinds of statistics about people hating and loving candy corn. From Taylor’s article: “As Halloween comes and goes, so will the candy corn debate. But in late September, it’ll creep back into our consciousness and conversations again, a sugary Pennywise the Clown ready to terrorize your teeth, your towns, and your Twitter feed.”
I found a “Candy corn lovers support group” on FaceBook but I don’t think they’re going to help me control this problem because the first photo is for candy corn soda. So my little exclusion has opened up a door to eating candy corn all year long, in flavors and forms I never imagined—Noooooooo!!!
Linda D. Addison, award-winning author of four collections, including How to Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend, the first African-American recipient of the HWA Bram Stoker Award, received the 2016 HWA Mentor of the Year Award and the 2018 HWA Lifetime Achievement Award. Check out her latest poetry in The Place of Broken Things, writen with Alessandro Manzetti (Crystal Lake Publishing, 2019). She is excited about the 2020 release of a film (inspired by my poem of same name) Mourning Meal, by producer and director Jamal Hodge.
Who doesn’t need to know How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend? From the first African-American to receive the HWA Bram Stoker award, this collection of both horror and science fiction short stories and poetry reveals demons in the most likely people (like a jealous ghost across the street) or in unlikely places (like the dimension-shifting dreams of an American Indian). Recognition is the first step, what you do with your friends/demons after that is up to you.
Bram Stoker Award® winners Linda D. Addison and Alessandro Manzetti use their unique voices to create a dark, surrealistic poetry collection exploring the many ways shattered bodies, minds, and souls endure.
They created poems of visionary imagery encompassing death, gods, goddesses and shadowy, Kafkaesque futures by inspiring each other, along with inspiration from others (Allen Ginsberg, Pablo Neruda, Phillis Wheatley, etc.).
Construction of The Place started with the first bitten apple dropped in the Garden. The foundation defined by the crushed, forgotten, and rejected. Filled with timeless space, its walls weep with the blood of brutality, the tears of the innocent, and predatory desire. Enter and let it whisper dark secrets to you.
Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.