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Corn that you can't grow

Love it or hate it, candy corn is here to stay

Love it or hate it, candy corn is here to stay

October 24, 2007|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

The only other thing more polarizing than politics might be candy corn.

"It's nasty," said Gordon Lansdowne, 36, of Hagerstown.

"It's yummy," said Grace Heinrich, 8, third-grader at Bester Elementary School.

Love it or hate it, the National Confectioners Association is projecting that more than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year. That's enough to circle the moon nearly four times, if laid end-to-end, according to the trade association, based in Vienna, Va.

This is good news for Grace and her friend Kylee Garnett, 9, of Hagerstown, who said candy corn is their favorite Halloween candy.

Kylee, a fourth-grader at Bester, said candy corn is good because it tastes like chocolate.

"If your parents say no chocolate before dinner you can always ask for candy corn because it's not chocolate," Kylee said.

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But that trick might not work anymore - she divulged this bit of information in front of her dad, Ken Garnett, 42, of Hagerstown, who does not like the confection.

"I cannot eat it," he said. "When I was 9 or 8, I had so much of it, it made me sick. Kept me down for about a day or two."

Even people who view candy corn with indifference aren't insulated from outside opinions.

"My roommate, she hates it," said Chelsea Hammond, 18, of Hagerstown, a freshman at Frostburg State University. "If I'm eating it in front of her, she says 'I can't believe you're eating that. It's disgusting. It tastes like plastic."

Much like the jelly bean, candy corn is an old-school candy with staying power.

Candy corn was invented in the 1880s, according to the National Confectioners Association. Manufacturers layer molds with three colored syrups, which are allowed to gel together and cool. It's a process similar to how candy corn was made more than a century ago.

Dave Verdier, 65, of Hagerstown, has always been a candy corn fan.

"It's tradition. It's handed down from generation to generation," he said.

However, it is not a tradition that will get passed down to the Lansdowne children.

"Nobody in our family eats it and there's 10 of us," said Zandria Lansdowne, 36, wife of Gordon Lansdowne.

Both Gordon and Zandria Lansdowne are candy corn haters. So are their eight children.

"It's too sweet and it gets to sticking to your teeth," Zandria Lansdowne said. "I don't have anything against candy corn, I just don't have anything for it."

Gordon Lansdowne said candy corn did have one redeeming quality. Pointing at 14-year-old son Zandrew, he said, "The only thing I can do with candy corn is chuck it at him."

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