Genealogy 4 Baby Boomers on vacation…back next week!!
Ask Candy Corn Daddy, Part Duh
Dear Friends: Over the years, I’ve made it a point to note the changing holiday fads and fancies. The earliest example I can find of making Candy Corn a year-round product comes from my notebook dated February, 1979. Thought I had a clipping of July 4th Candy Corn, but can’t lay my hands on it. I know it was only tried for a short time and didn’t really take off. Along with all the “designer” Corn you can get these days, I find one that looks right…but it’s described as “raspberry lemonade”…yeah, I guess they mean Blue Raspberry, of which there is no such thing…altho raspberries do come in Red, Black, Purple, Yellow, and White. Guess they needed one more color…
Candy Corn is said to have been invented in the 1880s by George Renninger of the Wunderlee Candy Company of Philadelphia. Initially, it was very popular with farmers (surprise, surprise) and other vegetable shapes were made, including turnips! And of course, pumpkins which as Mellowcremes have never gone out of fashion….they are sometimes called “candy corn’s first cousin.” The oldest continuing manufacturer of Candy Corn is the Goelitz Confectionary Company of Cincinnati, which started in 1898 and is now part of Jelly Belly. And if you called it “Chicken Corn” when you were a kid, well, so did Brach’s!
There is more research to be done…well, perhaps in the trillions of webpages out in Web-land, somebody already has done it…and if so, perhaps they can clarify this partial ad from LIFE magazine, 1948. There are 2 larger bags…the red Candy Corn and the green Kernels…different flavors perhaps?…or is Kernels an older version of the same thing, still being marketed for the recognition value? And if we can trust the illustration, Bantam Candy Corn does seem to be a smaller0sized candy, doesn’t it?
More recent mysteries include a couple I noted but sadly did not save advertisements or pictures for…below center, from 1986, Jolly Rancher’s attempt to reverse-engineer Xmas as ‘Ween with “Tiger Tail” candy canes…left, Brach’s “Witches’ Teeth” from 1987…slightly larger than normal Candy Corn. Right, is my own idea…I can’t believe with all the “gourmet” varieties out there, someone hasn’t come up with a licorice version, for which the traditional Hallowe’en colors would be a natural, nez pah?
Well, one thought did occur to me…Google Books has many magazines now on-line, including Billboard, which in the old days used to cover the vending machine industry. I once found some good info on how chewing gum coped with the sugar shortage of WWII…so I gave it a shot, and found too many references to check out now…but a couple were interesting. Above…the availability of Candy Corn in December suggests is was, like pumpkin pie, considered appropriate holiday fare for Xmas as well as ‘Ween…perhaps all year round. But several other finds refer to something different…I’m guessing below that “candy corn” means sugar-glazed popcorn, what we’d called today “Kettle Corn.”
cornless candy plugs…
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