Like the Groundhog or the big old shiny Times Square ball, Candy Corn tends to pop up once a year, hang around for a little bit, and then disappear again. Unlike the Groundhog and the New Years Eve Ball, Candy Corn is a pretty polorizing topic, and there are a sizable amount of people who are less than thrilled when the orange little candies start showing up everywhere. Some find Candy Corn too sweet, too processed, too waxy, or too stale. In fact, a 2010 market research survey found that Candy Corn was the least popular Halloween candy. Clearly, though, Candy Corn has it's fans: the 20 million pounds of CC sold annually would seem to usher Candy Corn haters directly to the left.
Members of both the pro and anti Candy Corn camps might be interested to know where the hell this admittedly unique and arguably bizarre tasting snack came from. Apparently, the answer is George Renninger (aka Big Daddy Candy Corn), a candymaker at the Wunderlee Candy Company in Philadelphia. Renninger invented the candy from sugar, fondant, corn syrup, vanilla, and marshmallow creme sometime in the 1880's. He sold the corn-shaped candy (originally called "Chicken Feed") to Goelitz Candy Company (now known as Jelly Belly) as a symbol of harvest that would appeal to agrarian America. Through the trials and errors of mass production, Goelitz Co. made it into the Halloween staple it is today: the slow, labor-intensive Candy Corn creation process meant that it was only made from March to November, meaning that Candy Corn would really hit the market around the end of October--or, Halloween.
Whether you love it or you hate it, Big Daddy C.C.'s invention is a part of the Halloween landscape, so you might as well try and have fun with it. Stop being such a curmudgeon and get down with the holiday season. We found some places around the city that are embracing the unmistakable Candy Corn flavor in time Candy Corn's big day.
Candy Corn Bagels
Brooklyn's The Bagel Store has brought Candy Corn into the arms of a classic NYC staple with their Candy Corn Bagle. The Bagel Store suggests that you pair the sweet, swirly orange-white bagels with their Pumpkin Cream Cheese.
Candy Corn Cupcakes
Crumbs Bakery has come out with one of their seasonal cupcakes to celebrate the goodness of Candy Corn. The cupcake, which is a more traditional treatment of Candy Corn than other items on our list, is an orange-tinted vanilla cake filled with vanilla buttercream and topped with vanilla cream cheese, candy corn and sprinkles.
Candy Corn Martini, Pt I
Okay, so we get it. You might not like Candy Corn. But even the most hardened Candy Corn enemy will be softened by this brilliant boozy Candy Corn libation.
This Candy Corn Martini can be found at Haven Rooftop (132 W 47th St). The cocktail is part of Haven's seasonal drink list, put out in honor of the annual opening of their Ski Chalet. Channel your inner child while you get hip and happy at Haven.
Candy Corn Martini, Pt II
If the first Candy Corn Martini wasn't enough to bring you onto the side of Orange-Yellow light, we bet this one will do the trick. The Candycorn Tini from SideBAR may look like a bizarre jumble of letters, but it tastes like sugary heaven. Come down to Union Square to mingle with the post-grad crowd while sipping on your Tini, which mixes Candy-Corn Infused Vision Vodka with Pineapple Juice, all topped off with, you guessed it, a Candy Corn garnish.
By the way, if you want to make your own Candy Corn Infused Vodka, we've got the hookup. Follow this recipe for your own stash of Candy Corn hooch.
Haute Cuisine's Take on Candy Corn
Okay, guys. Are you ready to get far out? We all know how Haute Cuisine likes to take foods to their most bizarre and interpretive elemental limitations. Well, prepare to see Candy Corn get the same treatment. James Beard Award-winning Chef Ken Oringer brings his creative chops to the table at Toru, which opened around a month ago in Chelsea. The restaurant's Spanish menu reworks typical Tapas with menu items like Gooseneck Barnacles and Pig's-Ear Terrine with King Crab and Yuzu. His take on "Candy Corn" is just as creatively inspired. The Errizos Con Caviar comes in two Candy Cone shaped spoonfuls of Caviar, Sea Urchin, and Quail Egg with crispy Ibérico Jamón. At Toru, Candy Corn is definitely not in Kansas anymore.
Hopefully by now, we've won over the haters and delighted the hardcore Candy Corn fans by showing everybody all the weird, fun things Candy Corn can do. Have a wonderful, Candy-Corn-full Halloween!