Saturday, October 30, 2010

National Candy Corn Day

As we approach the second most commercial holiday in the United States, for which Americans unbelievably spend approximately $6.3 billion annually, we must not forget one of Halloween’s iconic treats – Candy Corn. In fact, today, October 30th, is not just Halloween Eve, it is National Candy Corn Day. Yes folks, you read that right….Candy Corn has its own day. And, to support this obscure holiday, Gene and I went to the store today, specifically to buy the celebrated sweet.

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with candy corn. I didn’t much like it as a kid, but now, as an adult, there is something comforting and familiar about munching on a candy corn kernel during this time of year.

Here’s comedian Lewis Black’s take on candy corn:
Candy corn is the only candy in the history of America that’s never been advertised. And there’s a reason. All of the candy corn that was ever made was made in 1911. And so, since nobody eats that stuff, every year there’s a ton of it left over. And the candy corn company sends the guys to the villages and they collect out of the dumpsters all the candy corn we’ve thrown away. They wash it! They wash it! I’ll never forget the first time my mother gave me candy corn. She said, “Here Lewis! This is corn that tastes like candy!” (eats it) “This tastes like crap”’ And every year since then, Halloween is returned and I, like an Alzheimer’s patient, find myself in a room, and the room has a table in it, and on the table, is a bowl of candy corn. And I look at it, as if I’ve never seen it before. “Candy corn,” I think. “Corn that tastes like candy. I can’t wait.”
Could it could be that Lewis Black needs to join the Candy Corn Lovers Anonymous Facebook page?

While candy corn is yellow, white and orange, I prefer “indian corn”, where the bottom layer is brown (chocolate flavored).

Candy Corn was invented by George Renninger and produced by the Wunderlee Candy Company in the 1880s. In 1900, the Goelitz Candy Company, now known as Jelly Belly Candy Company, started mass producing candy corn, and its recipe has remained unchanged.

The National Confectioners Association estimates that 20 million pounds (9,000 tons) of candy corn are sold annually. The top branded retailer of candy corn, Brach's, sells enough candy corn each year to circle the earth 4.25 times if the kernels were laid end to end.

While that might sound impressive, did you know that candy corn has even gone into space? Astronauts are allowed to bring special “crew preference” items when they go up in space. NASA astronaut Don Pettit chose candy corn for his five and a half month stint aboard the International Space Station. But these candy corn were more than a snack, Pettit used them for experimentation. Check out the “critical candy corn concentration” in this cool video:

I feel quite good, in fact, almost patriotic, about doing my part to uphold this little known holiday, and hope that you, too, will remember Halloween Eve from henceforth as National Candy Corn Day!

Have a Corny Kind o' Day, Y'all!

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