Every Halloween season, candy corn becomes a serious point of contention among the masses. It’s undoubtedly one of the most festive-looking treats on the market, yet there seems to be a serious hatred for it in some circles. But why do people hate candy corn so much? Is it the flavor, or the texture that folks can’t stand? Or is it due to some unfortunate childhood trauma surrounding the colorful sweet masquerading as the grain-vegetable hybrid?
In a recent poll of 30,000 consumers on my CandyStore.com, candy corn was rated the Worst Halloween Candy of 2019, knocking the rather unfortunate Circus Peanuts down a notch. But the reasons behind this weren’t exactly explained. According to comedian Lewis Black, candy corn “tastes like something that was made out of oil,” which, if melted down, “could run a car.” He wouldn’t be wrong, since candy corn does indeed contain sesame oil, among other ingredients.
In his bit about the foul-to-some confection, Black also suggests that all candy corn was created in 1914, and that it’s never been made again because we never make enough of it, “we only eat two or three or four pieces apiece.” Note: It was actually created in the 1880s, and was originally called “chicken feed.” Black also talks about the way he always ends up trying it again, knowing full well that he’ll hate it. Sound familiar?
He’s not alone in his selective memory, of course. Twitter user @jandralee states they only “eat it for nostalgia reasons, but it’s not like I actually ENJOY it. Maybe two pieces are good? After that, it’s done.”
Chef Gordon Ramsay has also rated candy corn as the third worst Halloween treat, referring to it as “ear wax formed in the shape of a rotten tooth.” Ramsay’s dislike of the waxiness of candy corn is also shared by others.
“I used to love it. It was like honeyed wax. But then my taste buds matured and now it’s more like eating a scented candle,” says Twitter user @joeyhollywood.
A woman named Renée in South Carolina also says she imagines candy corn is what “rotten wax” would taste like, while another person named Rebecca from Littleton, Colo., says this was also a deal breaker for her: “I’m so torn, I love the flavor but really hate the waxy texture.”
“It’s like a chewable, sadder combo version of Necco wafers and the outside of the wax Coke bottle candies,” adds Twitter user @jay00789.
Lia, 35, of South Dakota cites the texture and smell as problematic for her. “Just reminds me of fake food and plastic,” she states.
Some folks seem to mostly be turned off by the flavor instead.
“It’s too sweet, and it dissolves into sugar paste after chewing. It just has no other flavor than ‘sweet’ and that’s gross (to me),” Twitter user @crystolosaurus shared.
“Candy corn is gross because it tastes like solid corn syrup and has no discernible flavor beyond ‘sickeningly sweet,’” added Twitter user @erniebuffalo.
Other candy corn-haters were even more creative about their disdain.
“It tempts you with bright colors and the promise of sweet goodness, but delivers a mouthful of soft crayon, sticky, bitter-sweet disappointment,” says a 41-year-old writer named Steph.
“It teases you with its bright and fun Halloween-y colors, but then you put it in your mouth and it tastes like an episode of The Bachelor. And then it takes forever to get that nasty out of your mouth. Just like The Bachelor. I also hate The Bachelor,” Twitter user @therobotmommy hilariously stated.
Vegetarians and vegans (and anyone who hates bugs) would also have some solid reasons as to why they hate candy corn. In a video by Tech Insider, we learn that not only does candy corn list gelatin (made from animal parts) as an ingredient, it also has lac-resin on the outside (made from lac bug secretions).
And finally, some folks told me they’ve had somewhat traumatic experiences around the colorful confection.
“My first job outta college was as a grocery manager. Seeing candy corn break down at the end of the season did it for me...I don’t know what happened, but the candy corn was soft, mushy, and leaking. Turned me off for life,” says Twitter user @stephanita.
And a 38-year-old woman from Oregon named Margot shared this unfortunate incident that put her off candy corn for life: “I ate too much of it on Halloween, age 5, and projectile vomit-sprayed the remnants onto my mother’s glasses.”
So there you have it. There’s no one reason to hate candy corn...there are many. That said, you might take a note from Twitter user @staceygarratt who says this:
“Candy corn are meant to be visually fun little garnishes! It’s like complaining that sprinkles don’t have a complicated flavor profile. People who complain about candy corn are the same people who will tell you they don’t own a TV and can’t remember the last time they had fast food or that thing called ‘fun.’”
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