This time of year sees the emergence of a new Default Smart Opinion. These are the takes people give when they’re looking for easy consensus or, for lack of something original, want to sound like they have good taste. This Halloween-centric DFO? “Candy corn is bad.”
Candy corn has become cool to hate. It’s the Nickelback, Kirk Cameron and “moist” of candies. Even if you’re still riding for Pay Days or vanilla Tootsie Rolls (not bad!), you can feel secure in your sweet-treat sensibilities so long as you lean back on that tried-and-true Default Smart Opinion: Candy corn is bad. But how bad is candy corn, really? Like, bad enough to be served in hell? Let’s investigate.
Some candy-corn history (yeah like we said: investigation). Candy corn originated in the 1880s thanks to the innovations (?) of Wunderle Candy Company. The original name of candy corn was “butter cream” or “chicken corn,” the former of which doesn’t describe the product at all and the latter of which sounds like something not for human consumption. When the candy started being mass-produced, it was branded “chicken feed,” which again, is disgusting.
It was always the intention of the candy-makers to market to farmers, who at the time made up half the American workforce, hence the corn shape and farm-centric color. This is what we call a “failure to change with the times.”
So candy corn certainly has a strange and confounding past, but does that make it a candy served in hell? That comes down to the taste. Candy corn’s flavor is somewhere between vanilla and marshmallow (ingredients: sugar, corn syrup, fondant, confectioner’s wax, flavoring), but most people just chalk it up to sugar, and a waxy sugar at that.
American companies make 9 billion kernels of candy corn every year, which is too bad considering most of it ends up in the trash. But back to the real question: How many of those kernels end up in ornamental dishes in the lobby of hell?
Most of it, we’re pretty sure. Only 12 percent of Americans say candy corn is their favorite Halloween treat, which means most people find it tolerable at-best, revolting at-worst. The taste is one-note and cloying. The texture is both crumbly and chewy in a bad way, and it’s just a wearisome product. There’s always too much of it. It never satisfies. You always feel kinda sick after, and the value of a pack of candy corn versus the flavor of a pack of M&Ms is miniscule. It’s the worst candy.
So if hell is looking to punish the damned, why not proffer them candy corn as their featured dessert? It would make sense for hell to buy up a bunch of candy corn, especially against season. Hell is hot, so they say. Imagine eating a bunch of waxy sugar in the middle of a heat wave? Lord, take us now.
So according to our investigation: Yes, they serve candy corn in hell.