Thursday, October 30, 2008


ARROOOOOO!! Hey, you guys, this is Harriet Von Lupin, and check this out: we have only got one day left, and tomorrow's Halloween! Can you believe it? Today, I'm gonna do something a little different for you guys-- I'm gonna talk about some history. Now, I'm not all that fond of history usually, 'cause it's all about past events. But sometimes it's cool to look back and see where something came from, and today I'm gonna tell you about the history of something that's always around on Halloween--candy corn!

Candy corn has been around for about 125 years, and that is like a long time. It's one of the biggest sellers at Halloween, and it's so popular that there are even different kinds of candy corn sold for different holidays, like Indian corn for Thanksgiving and reindeer corn for Christmas. (Hey, even bunny corn for Easter!) But what we're talking about is the traditional orange, yellow and white candy corn that you see around Halloween, and this was created back in the 1800's by a guy named George Renniger, who worked for the Wunderlee Candy Company. The Goelitz Candy Company started producing it in 1898 in Cincinnati, and they're still around, but these days they call themselves the Jelly Belly Candy Company, who make the Jelly Belly gourmet jellybeans.

The recipe for candy corn hasn't changed all that much, but the way people do it sure has changed a lot. These days, computers and machines make candy corn, which means that a whole bunch of it can be made at one time, and all year, too, which is why we have all those different kinds now for other holidays. But in the old days, candy corn wasn't made all year; it was mostly produced from March through November, and a batch of candy corn was made by mixing sugar, water and corn syrup into a slurry in big kettles. It also had fondant (a kind of smooth icing) in it, which makes it smooth, and marshmallow, which makes it soft to bite. All this stuff would be mixed up and then when it was the right consistency, it was poured into big hand-held buckets called runners. Each of the runners held 45 pounds of candy.

Then, a lot of guys called stringers would walk backward with the buckets, pouring the stuff into trays of cornstarch that had little molds for each kernel of corn. They made three passes; one for white, one for orange and one for yellow. This was a lot of work! But people loved candy corn, and the three colors were a big selling
point, 'cause no other candy at the time was made like that. It was called revolutionary, which is a big word that means really special.

And today, candy corn is really special, because every
year people buy so much of it that it's the official candy of Halloween! This year, a bunch of guys called the National Confectioners Association (which is more big words for guys who make candy) say that over 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year! That is like 95 billion kernels! Wow!

And check this out: another bunch of guys called the American Academy Of Pediatric Dentistry (you know, the guys who tell you to brush your teeth) say that as far as causing tooth decay, candy corn isn't any different than a slice of bread. (It's even totally fat-free!) But you should still make sure that you brush your teeth afterward, just like with any other stuff you eat. And one more thing: today is National Candy Corn Day! ARROOOOOO!!!

So grab some candy corn today and enjoy, 'cause you'll be participating in a century-old tradition! And be sure to come back tomorrow for our Halloween Day post! Gee, I gotta go get ready for tomorrow, so I'm outta here! Happy Halloween, you guys! ARROOOOOOO!!!

With much love, Harriet Von Lupin