Ah, the eternal question: Candy Corn–seasonal decoration or confection? That’s the problem with a candy when they lose their novelty, I suppose. Candy Corn and it’s larger food group of Harvest Mix has been around for a while after all. We’re just kind of used to seeing it around the holidays and don’t give it a second thought except to possibly mock it.
And there’s a lot to mock, really. For one, it looks as much like real corn as a Valentine’s Day heart looks like an actual heart, which is to say not at all. And it isn’t flavored. The recipe and cooking process probably hasn’t changed substantially since the 1880’s. And yeah, Chuckles, candy corn and it’s inbred cousins of indian corn and Mellowcreme Pumpkins have been around for a long goddamned time. And for a long time, they were really the only Halloween-centric candy, which says a lot for a holiday that’s been all about candy and setting pumpkins on fire for at least 60 years.
There really isn’t much to Harvest Mix, including fat, which is a selling point for some people. Then again, candies like this which are made almost entirely of sugar, corn syrup, color additives, and bindings (not wax, no matter how these things might taste), don’t HAVE fat. For that you need candies made with chocolate, peanuts, maybe some dairy. No, this little Halloween handful is completely fat free!
But you’re not off the hook. That little pumpkin will set you back 25 calories. Yep. 25. For one second of sugary bliss. And you know you’re going to eat that whole bag in a day or two, probably while you’re distractedly watching Huey Lewis and the News videos on Youtube wondering where your youth went.
So if you really must indulge in the colorful glory that is the Harvest Mix, portion control is your friend. The fact that these candies don’t have any real flavor other than “sweet” makes it easy to not pay attention. So get a small bowl. REALLY small. Something like a demitasse cup which is about 4 oz. is perfect.
And even if you don’t enjoy them for anything more than making fake vampire fangs or decorating cupcakes, now you know a bit about their history. And at least they’re not those damned little boxes of raisins my mom used to give out every year. And she wondered why I routinely got bullied at school…