#NationalCandyCornDay is trending on Twitter and I do not understand why.
I am a picky eater with many food allergies and culinary idiosyncrasies. Among my allergies are: nuts, fuzzy fruits and veggies, shellfish, and certain legumes. Since I like living, I stay away from these. Even smelling a peach makes me wheeze and my throat starts to close; as for the rest, they’re foods I don’t like anyway. Do you know how happy I was to learn that I am allergic to okra – a vegetable I detest?
And there are others I just have personal issues with for no other reason than I’m petty that way. I freak out after spilling milk on my hands. I don’t care much for breakfast foods. I think orange juice is gross (I learned this 15 years ago when it increased my morning sickness), and gravy is just unnecessarily thick. For decades, I wouldn’t eat meatloaf or guacamole because I just didn’t like their names. It makes me cringe when people say a cake is moist. While I don’t like a dry cake (no one does, really), I like the word moist even less. At least I am not like my nephew, who doesn’t like pie. Honestly, I believe he has dessert issues, and we are working them out with cake. I also don’t like chocolate because it tastes like the dirt a cousin would make me eat when I was 5 and she made mud pies. So see, I have serious food issues.
There are many foods I do not like, but the one food that I truly believe is the work of Satan has to be candy corn. Candy corn is the candy that people give to you when they don’t like you because why waste good money (and candy) on people you can’t stand? I look at candy corn and I am convinced it is the culmination of the Earth’s despair and all my lost hopes and dreams. Candy corn is that one candy I would give to my worst enemy because I don’t wish them ill will, I just want throw a little shade in their direction and grace them with some strategically placed disrespect; and there is nothing more disrespectful than the many ways in which people try to make this nasty bunch of nothing into something they want me to believe can be palatable. These are the people in your life who even have the unmitigated gall to point to the tasteless varieties of candy corn on the market (like lemon-lime flavored nastiness). Who thought that was a good idea?! If people can tell me candy corn tastes good with a straight face, what will they lie to me about next? These are people who can’t be trusted (yes, Dawn, I’m talking to you) and I advise you to watch your inner circle and your back for these plastic candy pushers.
While nothing shocks my soul the way someone bravely professing their love for candy corn does, the fact that there are books about this abomination has me really rethinking my life choices. Yes, honey, someone — no— SOMEONES wrote books on candy corn, I mean, like for people to buy and read. No kidding. While I can’t go there as a writer or eater, as a reader, though, I find them to be pretty interesting and even a little bit fun. Here’s the only candy corn I will consume in this lifetime or the next:
The Candy Corn Contest, Patricia Reilly Giff
I remember reading this as a child and I read it again, recently, because it sparks nostalgia and I remembered things I hadn’t thought about in years; the memories of my youth came flooding back. Writer Kathleen Hill told me books are like that; it’s how she was inspired to write her memoir, and what inspired the upcoming BookTrib writing contest. That discussion was followed up with pictures of me in kindergarten sent to me by a childhood friend, the first boy I had a crush on. So this book was a great walk down memory lane.
Candy Corn Investigations, Teach with Laughter
While I would like the authors to investigate why candy corn is an insult to sugar and an assault on my taste buds, I find this book engaging because it gets kids into wanting to learn about science and research at a young age. Scientific inquiry is important and this book is a fun way to get kids excited about the STEM fields.
More Than Candy Corn, Christine DePertrillo
In my book, there is nothing sexy about candy corn, and if someone uses it as a come on, the best advice I can give is to run because that date is NOT going to end well. Still, Christine DePetrillo finds a way to turn foods into romantic foils. I wasn’t going to give this a try because, well… candy corn, but DePetrillo writes a good novella and I will be checking out More Than Pancakes (a food I DO like) next!
The Fall of Candy Corn, Debbie Viguie
Now we’re getting somewhere! A book with a title I can appreciate. Part of a series, this book has mystery, a coming of age story and cliffhangers— everything you would expect in a book that advocates (at least in the title) for the abolishment of candy corn! It’s an enjoyable read, and again, the title tells me this author can be trusted to deliver— and she does.
While candy corn may be the devil’s candy that remains true to its confectionery failure while still tasting like sadness, despair and ancestral disappointment, these books are anything but and make for lots of great Halloween reading! Enjoy!