DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — People either hate it or love it: candy corn.
Candy corn has a unique background with a direct tie to Ohio. Factors of the controversial treat have been significantly changed over the years, including the name.
The Name was…What?
Before candy corn received its current name, it was dubbed as “chicken feed,” since more rural families originally purchased the product. The treat had an additional name, buttercreams, but were said to be a type of mellow creme. Candy Favorites says the treat was difficult to make, and wasn’t initially associated with fall or Halloween.
“It was, however, a seasonal candy due to the tedious nature of the work,” Candy Favorites says. “Chicken feed was only available between March and November.”
Candy Corn’s Tie to Ohio
George Renniger at Wunderle Candy Co. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has been thought to be the original creator of the treat, but there is no physical proof of it.
Around 1898, Jelly Belly, formerly known as Goelitz Confectionery Company, began making candy corn inside of their factory in Cincinnati. Jelly Belly is said to be the company that has been making the treat the longest.
To make the orange, white and yellow-colored treat, it was made in the factory by hand.
“In order to make a tri-color kernel, a candy-maker, called a “runner,” made three separate passes with 10 pounds of hot steaming fondant depositing a little bit of candy at just the right rate into cornstarch molded with the kernel shape,” Jelly Belly says.
“These passes required great strength and endurance since the runner had to lift and carry the big buckets called “stringers” of hot cooked candy which appears to come out of the bottom of the bucket in “strings.”
Now, the process is completed by machine. Jelly Belly claims even though the machine does the work, the “same essential manner” is conducted when creating the candy.
While Better Homes & Gardens reports over 17,000 tons of candy corn are created each year, Jelly Belly claims nine billion kernels are sold per year.
Consumers are able to purchase candy corn to celebrate different seasons and holidays, like Reindeer Corn for winter and Christmas, Cupid Corn for Valentine’s Day and various others.
People across the country have strong opinions on the candy, because of the taste.
If you enjoy the treat, National Candy Corn Day is celebrated on Monday, Oct. 30.