Candy corn is the reigning king of Halloween candy

Photo by Dani Sisson Student Publications

Candy corn is the greatest candy to grace this planet with its presence.

But wait! Before you crumple up this issue of the Technique and throw it into the recycling bin, let me explain what I mean. Ready to hear me out? Okay.

Candy corn is the king of Halloween candy not because it tastes better than modern candy or because it has nutritional value but because it is the kind of candy that is so inextricably linked to Halloween. 

It has a nostalgic charm that no other candy has. 

Candy corn’s vanilla and marshmallow creme invoke memories from childhood. The texture and stickiness of the treat forces you to take that extra second to let it melt a little more in your mouth, reminding you of that one fifth grade Halloween party where everyone was excited to be a superhero or a fan-favorite character from a franchise. 

Candy corn forces us to come to terms with the fact that Halloween is sweet and encourages us to let out our inner child, which longs for the sweetness of our childhood.

I, for one, remember eating candy corn out of a small cup watching a Halloween movie on the rug in my first grade classroom. 

Now, every time I eat candy corn, I’m reminded of a simpler time in my life, when all I cared about was whether or not we would get dismissed early to recess so I could play kickball. 

I also remember going around my neighborhood, knocking on doors in costume that evening after school and hoping a treat would be behind each one. 

Even if the treat was something lame like an apple or a granola bar, the candy corn another house gave me would sustain my desire for the biggest and bestest candy bar. 

Again, I’m not saying that candy corn is the best candy ever in the whole world all year round — just during Halloween. It’s impossible for candy corn, a sweet treat originating in Philadelphia in the late 1880s, to compete with the likes of modern confectionery delights like Twix or Sour Patch Kids. 

If you made me choose between a Twix and candy corn in the springtime, I’d probably pick the Twix with little hesitation. 

But in the days and weeks leading up to Halloween, the joy that comes with feeding yourself a handful of candy corn kernels like you’re a prized horse in an equestrian movie is incomparable. 

Candy corn is present in every Halloween decoration. 

It’s ubiquitous — unavoidable for a few weeks out of the year, for better or for worse. 

You can’t say the same for year-round candy like Snickers, Twix, Milky Way or even the classic Hershey’s chocolate bar; those are all variations on the same. 

Candy corn is the only unique candy that finds its way into childrens’ grubby little paws during Halloween when every other candy has an easily replicable design. 

In fact, not only is candy corn the greatest Halloween candy but it’s also better than other seasonal takes on major candies — isn’t a candy cane just a glorified mint? 

Aren’t Valentine’s Day chocolates the same as any other chocolate on any other day?

That’s not to say that all candy corn is made the same and deserves this title — only the classic orange, yellow and white triangles in the original flavor combination are Halloween candy royalty. 

Other variations of candy corn are easily bottom of the barrel like the pumpkins, which are just too chewy and large to properly enjoy. 

Or, consider the flavor variations with chocolate in them in place of the vanilla, which disrupt the delicate melding of the vanilla and marshmallow flavors that make candy corn so irresistible.

And so on the first of November when the ghosts, skeletons and other Halloween decorations are put away and costumes are stuffed into the back of one’s closet, candy corn resumes its quiet slumber.

They are once again relegated to the candy aisle at CVS in small quantities, no longer available in five pound bags at the same familiar price. 

Candy corn passes on its crown to the queen of the holiday season, a just-defrosted Mariah Carey, only to reign again the next October.