Every October, a rivalry comes to light, one as fierce as that between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Hatred is as fervent and ingrained in the opposition as that of Red Sox fans at a Yankees game. Comedians scorn it and news outlets decry it. It’s candy corn.
But everyone has it all wrong. Candy corn—those vilified tiny triangles of wax and sugar—are actually the best. Let me explain.
I'll admit, candy corn is not a great candy. It’s sweet, but not in a delicious chocolate bar sort of way—more in an overly saccharine, hurt your teeth kind of way. It gets old quickly. Nobody ever craves it. Its few ingredients leave it almost bereft of taste, especially when compared to other Halloween treats. But candy corn has something most other candies do not: a nostalgia factor.
Every year for as long as I can remember, I would encounter these little orange, yellow, and white treats. They’d be in a bowl at someone’s home and goodie bags at October birthday parties were stuffed with them. Maybe your mom or dad or grandmother would buy them or you. I never bought candy corn for myself, but somehow, it always appeared. And I would always eat it.
I’m not sure if I ever actually loved the taste of candy corn. I’ll concede: I don’t think it’s tasty. But I eat it every time I see it because something about it just reminds me of being a kid around Halloween.
There are many great things about fall: crisp air, football games, apple picking, foliage, Halloween movie marathons. Nostalgia, for myself and many others, peaks around holidays where we do things out of tradition and habit.
I bet you watch Hocus Pocus every year—I know I do. But does anyone think it’s a great, well-made movie? Try to step back from your biases and think about how you would feel if you watched watch the movie for the first time today.
It’s low budget. The script isn’t that great. The effects are awful. Compared to movies made today, it’s pretty bad. But Hocus Pocus is a Halloween classic and one I will defend forever, because I watched and loved it as a kid.
The only reason why I, at 23, still watch Hocus Pocus is because it is a classic in its own right. It's a tradition, and candy corn is the same. It’s something we’ve had since we were young and something representative of this time of year. It’s a timeless classic—even if it does taste like sugary crayons.
So don’t hate on candy corn. It’s a symbol of fall and of Halloween, and it's here to stay.