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Candy corn may well be one of America's oldest Halloween sweet treats. The tasty confection dates back to the 1880s, when candy maker George Renninger of Wunderle Candy Co. is believed to have first created the classic candy in Philadelphia. The tri-colored novelty was like nothing else on the market at the time.

Today, many of us can't imagine celebrating Halloween without a enjoying a few handfuls of candy corn. About 15 billion of the sugary kernels are sold annually, according to statistics from the National Confectioners Association. More than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year, the association estimates.

Although many companies make candy corn, the Jelly Belly Candy Co. has been manufacturing the treat for longer than any other company in the industry. The candy-making predecessor of Jelly Belly -- then called Goelitz Confectionery Company began producing candy corn around 1898 at a factory in Cincinnati, Ohio. The process is handled by machines today, but it used to be a difficult task that was carried out manually.

In those early days, a candy maker or "runner" would have to lift and carry buckets loaded with about 50 pounds of hot candy mixture. The runner would make three trips along the production line, dropping a small amount of the fondant each time into cornstarch, kernel-shaped molds. The process allowed the candy maker to create the white, orange and yellow layers of color in the treat.

Candy corn remains a mainstay in the Halloween bounty collected by trick-or-treaters every year. If you're counting calories, candy corn might even be considered a good alternative to other seasonal choices. Although most candy corn recipes include ingredients like sugar and corn syrup, one serving of about 22 pieces contains just 140 calories.

Candy corn has earned the distinction of having its own commemorative calendar date National Candy Corn Day which is celebrated on Oct. 30th each year. Candy lovers will be happy to know that the varieties of this popular treat are expanding. Candy corn is produced in pastel colors for Easter, red and pink shades for Valentine's Day and green and red for Christmas, so it now can be enjoyed year-round.

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βˆ™ 2011-09-26 16:44:17
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Q: Candy Corn Is A Halloween Classic?
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