Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Now you know--Candy Corn Facts

My friend Roz loves food history and today she sent this from howstuffworks:
Candy corn has been around for more than a century. George Renninger of the Wunderlee Candy Company invented it in the 1880s. It was originally very popular among farmers and its look was revolutionary for the candy industry. The Goelitz Candy Company started making candy corn in 1900 and still makes it today, although the name has changed to the Jelly Belly Candy Company.

Although the recipe for candy corn hasn't changed much since the late 1800s, the way it's made has changed quite a bit. In the early days, workers mixed the main ingredients -- sugar, water and corn syrup -- in large kettles. Then they added fondant (a sweet, creamy icing made from sugar, corn syrup and water) and marshmallow for smoothness. Finally, they poured the entire mixture by hand into molds, one color at a time. Because the work was so tedious, candy corn was only available from March to November.

Today, machines do most of the work. Manufacturers use the "corn starch molding process" to create the signature design. A machine fills a tray of little kernel-shaped holes with cornstarch, which holds the candy corn in shape. Each hole fills partway with sweet white syrup colored with artificial food coloring. Next comes the orange syrup, and finally, the yellow syrup. Then the mold cools and the mixture sits for about 24 hours until it hardens. A machine empties the trays, and the kernels fall into chutes. Any excess cornstarch shakes loose in a big sifter. Then the candy corn gets a glaze to make it shine, and workers package it for shipment to stores.

For more information, go here to howstuffworks.