Tasting Tips From A Candy Corn Gourmand
Ah, ‘tis time for those strangely warped triangles of yumminess, those mini-pyramids of high fructose corn syrup!
When the weather finally turns the page into fall, I am thrilled when the leaves burst into flaming oranges and reds. When I start seeing hand-written signs for PYOP (which stands for Pick Your Own Pumpkins for all you non-northeasterners), I am giddy with the thought of Halloween. But most of all, when it’s October, I am joyous that I finally can get my hands on candy corn. I don’t just like candy corn. I love candy corn. And like any true aficionado, I have certain conditions that must be in place for me to truly enjoy my candy corn experience.
First of all, I’m a purist. I like my candy corn old style! The ones that start with the fat yellow bottom, moving onto the glorious middle girth of orange and finishing with the tiny pinnacle of white are my favorites. These strange new fangled ones: these chocolate candy corns, or the big fat pumpkin ones just won’t do. Given a choice, I always go for plain and simple.
Second, there is candy corn, and there is candy corn. Each brand has a specific taste. You can’t go wrong with classic Brachs Candy Corn. The CVS brand is cheaper, but also cheap on taste and texture. I always go back to Brachs. It’s a timeless classic.
Third, (and probably the strangest thing) is I like my candy corn just a tiny bit stale. Like a fine Cabernet, candy corn must be opened and allowed to breath to reach its full taste potential. Two days in – that’s when they really start to yummify. (I know that isn’t a real word, but shouldn’t it be?) Wait too long, say a week, and the candy corn will get too stale, and it’s more of a break-your-teeth kind of experience.
October is my birthday month, and candy corn was an essential part of my birthday celebrations growing up. If you came to my party, you were given a noise blower, a party hat, and a tiny cup full of candy corn. I remember one year, (I think I was six or so), I sneaked into the dining room before the guests arrived and stole candy corn from everyone’s cup. By the time my friends arrived, I had “sampled” so much, I was green as a granny smith apple and spent my entire birthday in the bathroom.
I went to college in So Cal, and I remember having a similar experience with tequila. Now, all it takes is a whiff of Cuevo Gold to rekindle nauseous memories. I can’t go near the stuff. But I have no such problem with candy corn!
My birthday is the 29th. The 30th is National Candy Corn Day. (I’m serious. Who knew there was a national day to celebrate this?) So, all hail slightly stale candy corn! There’s nothing better….except maybe slightly stale Peeps at Easter. Ah, but that’s another story!