Candy corn is a bad candy. At least that is the opinion that I have clung to for years, publicly declaring it “garbage” every October, on every social media platform I frequent. But there are a lot of real things of consequence to be yelling about right now, and being mad online about candy seems dumb. People deserve to find joy wherever they can, even if that joy comes in the form of seasonal treat.
Editor’s Note: While candy corn isn’t common in Australia, it always seems to make wild and random appearances around Halloween time, and every time it does, we have minor regrets.
This year, I’m calling off my campaign against candy corn, and am instead trying to understand its appeal, and maybe even enjoy it. Though Lifehacker is fairly divided on the fondant-like candy, two connoisseurs — our U.S. managing editor Virginia Smith and U.S. deputy editor Alice Bradley — were kind enough to share their tasting notes and serving suggestions.
First, know that not just any brand will do. True candy corn enthusiasts know that Brach’s is king, because Brach’s adds a little bit of salt to their recipe, which is crucial when you’re dealing with such a sweet confection. “None of that store brand-y corn,” Virginia told me. Alice also feels strongly about this, and has mentioned it more than once.
But if the hint of salt isn’t enough, and even Brach’s tastes like untamed sugar paste, don’t fret — Virginia has a solution. Pair those little kernels with honey roasted peanuts. Virginia has been trying to convince me to try this combination of salty-sweet legume and sweet-sweet candy for years, insisting their combined flavour was uncannily good.
I finally tried the pairing, and she was not lying, not even a little bit. Though I still don’t like candy corn on its own, I am now a fool for the combination, and have determined the absolute best ratio of corn to peanut, which is one kernel for every two whole (not halved) honey roasted bois. Even if you think you despise the candied corn, I urge you to give this pairing a try.