Love it or hate it, Halloween would not be quite the same without candy corn. It’s been around as long as we can remember — but the confection we’re so used to seeing this time of year just becomes part of the Halloween decorations. But it has a few interesting details you may not be familiar with. Here are some fun facts about candy corn — the fall candy Americans fell in love with more than a century ago.
Chicken Feed Little has changed about candy corn since it was first manufactured in the 1880s except for the name. Candy corn was originally called “Chicken Feed” and the packaging featured a rooster as part of the logo. It originally had a very strong following among farmers.
Wedding Cake One of the ingredients that gives candy corn it’s unusual hard-yet-soft texture is fondant. Fondant is sugar and water heated together just long enough for it to be moldable. Fondant is used as icing on elaborate wedding cakes because you can sculpt it and make beautiful, ornamental cakes you can’t make with regular icing.
Special Recipe Though Brach’s wasn’t the company to introduce candy corn to America, they’ve been making it for a long time with their own recipe – and that recipe includes honey. Most other candy corn is made with plain corn syrup.
Not for Vegans Even if you opt for the makers who don’t use honey (honey is not a vegan product), it still wouldn’t be a vegan treat because one of the ingredients in candy corn is marshmallow which contains gelatin. Gelatin is made from animal protein. More specifically, gelatin is made from collagen which comes from bones and joints of animals. It’s an ingredient in many of the things we eat but it’s a no-no for a vegan diet.
Shellac Shine Candy corn allegedly contains shellac – it’s what makes fingernail polish shiny. Shellac is a resin secreted from a lac bug found in India and Thailand. It’s used in all sorts of products and candies to give them a sheen – but it’s another reason candy corn isn’t considered vegan.
Purple Corn You’re probably familiar with the slight variations in shapes and colors — pumpkins for Halloween or bunnies for Easter — but in eastern Canada, they produce a purple candy corn. The flavor is blackberry cobbler.
Of course, if you really love candy corn, you don’t have to wait until October every year to have it – you can eat it year-round if you make it. The Food Network’s Alton Brown has his own recipe for the fall favorite. Otherwise, there is plenty of candy corn coming at you in the next few weeks!