Halloween will soon be upon us and you know what that means. No, really. Do you know what that means? Do you understand the scope of what is happening to us right now? Holiday candy season has officially resumed!
From now until February we can look forward to a surplus of, no doubt, recycled candy in celebration of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day. We get a small reprieve in April when Easter rolls around and then it’s candy drought time again until school starts, kids.
What do each of these holidays have in common? They all have the same candy cheerleader. The one who will never date the captain of the football team.
Originally called Chicken Feed when it was introduced in the 1880s, candy corn has morphed into a chameleon. There’s different colored and flavored candy corn for Halloween, Thanksgiving (Indian Corn), Christmas (Reindeer Corn), Valentine’s Day (Cupid Corn), Easter (Bunny Corn) and even Fourth of July (Freedom Corn). Let’s make candy corn great again!
If you are the type of person who would rather enjoy a cheese course for dessert instead of a chocolate hurricane on your plate, you are not going to like candy corn.
Despite containing all of the essential vitamins and minerals — hydrogenated palm kernel oil, shellac, etc.— nobody wants to see candy corn in their trick-or-treat bag, grandma’s candy dish, bulk candy bin or even on store shelves. They might as well start selling candy corn at animal shelters, because it’s the sweet treat that is always looking for a loving home.
But things are changing. It appears candy corn has hired a new PR firm, because Brach’s has released three dynamic new flavors to bring candy corn into the current century: Peanut Butter Cup, Sea Salt Chocolate and Brunch Favorites. Yes: fucking brunch! I saw a photo of it on my friend’s Instagram account about a week ago and my eyes wouldn’t even let me see the word brunch (I read “crunch”) because there’s no way that’s a real thing, right?
Found exclusively at Target, Brunch Favorites candy corn comes in three flavors: French Toast & Maple Syrup, Waffles & Strawberry and Chocolate Chip & Pancake. Let’s be real. This is breakfast, not brunch. If it was brunch, I’d expect flavors like Smoked Trout & Hash, Chicken & Waffles, and Bloody Mary & Garnish. But this is by far the kinkiest candy corn has ever gotten and I’m totally a fan. But then, I’ve always been a fan. And not because of the taste. Let me explain.
I appreciate candy corn for its no bullshit attitude. In the face of so many novelty candies, it just sits there, being candy corn; the girl in the corner nobody wants to dance with until all the other girls pass out from trying too hard. Candy corn has no interest in trotting out the newest moves on the dance floor. Candy corn will break out the waltz and maybe even the pop-and-lock on a good day, but that’s it. Candy corn is not concerned with your approval, because not liking candy corn is missing the point. It’s not the best candy, nor is it even a great one. It’s not trying to be either. Candy corn is a metaphor for humility, self confidence, individualism and longevity. Ask Lifesavers. They get it.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you how amazing the new Brunch Favorites candy corn is, because it’s not. It’s candy corn. But what I will say is that the French Toast & Maple Syrup actually tastes like a combination of the two, and that is no easy feat. Runner up: Waffles & Strawberry. Both really great flavor combos. Chocolate Chip & Pancakes, on the other hand, doesn’t even really taste like chocolate. In fact, it tastes a lot like the French Toast & Syrup, because, you know, syrup. If you can resist the intoxicating vapors of maple upon opening the bag, do not even bother eating what’s inside. This candy is not for you.
For people who hate candy corn, I have some advice: stop trying to force it. Candy corn is never going to change for you or anyone else, despite your mockery.
I hear a lot of candy corn haters describe it as “sickening sweet.” It’s a tired trope. Of course it’s sweet! If you don’t like sugar, you are not going to like candy corn, which is straight up sugar. If you are the type of person who would rather enjoy a cheese course for dessert instead of a chocolate hurricane on your plate, you are not going to like candy corn. If you are the type of person who orders cake doughnuts instead of the ones that are filled with things like jelly, cream and extra sugar, you are not going to like candy corn. If your favorite coffee drink is an Americano, with not even a float of milk, you are not going to like candy corn.
I once watched a video of someone reviewing candy corn. It was hard to sit through. “It’s cloyingly sweet,” they stated. “It’s got a weird texture. I’d rather be eating a Snickers.” Are you for real right now?
Listen. We all need to keep our expectations in check when eating anything with the words “candy corn” on the label because it’s fucking candy corn. It’s not going to surprise you one day by tasting like a Pierre Hermé creation, served in a fancy box with coiffed ribbon. Candy corn is basically penny candy made with ingredients that probably cost even less, if that’s possible. The joy of candy corn comes not from its taste or presentation, it comes from the pure fact that it’s chewy sugar that you can eat by the handfuls. It’s functional. By pure definition, candy corn is candy (sugar) + corn (shaped). It’s not here to impress you. And that’s why I love it and will always love it, no matter what flavor it decides to embody next. I also love candy corn’s progeny, the Circus Peanut. But that’s a story for another day.
In defense of Brach’s brunch favorites candy corn, it is new and trendy with 3 breakfast flavors!