Ick or treat? 7 strange facts about candy corn

Story highlights

  • Candy corn dates to the 1880s, before the automobile and the commercial telephone
  • Many people believe candy corn, like Oreos, should be eaten in a certain way

This story was originally published on CNN.com in 2014.

(CNN)Yes, there's actually corn in it. Corn syrup, if that counts.

Each kernel has three colors, about 7 calories and a lot of sugar. Many people, including comedian Lewis Black, can't stand it.
And yet every October, it fills candy bowls, trick-or-treat bags and the mouths of sweet-toothed snackers everywhere. For millions, it wouldn't be Halloween without candy corn.
    Each year, manufacturers produce more than 35 million pounds of the humble tricolored candy - almost 9 billion pieces. And now, one brewery has introduced - in a chilling Halloween twist - candy corn beer.
    Here are some things you may not know about the polarizing confection.

    It actually looks like corn

    When candy corn first came out, roughly half of Americans worked on farms, and the treat was designed to look like chicken feed.

    People love it or hate it

    The treat took home second place as Michigan's most popular Halloween candy, and residents were not happy.
    "It may be a new year, but some things just never change," wrote Brian Manzullo in the Detroit Free Press. "Unfortunately, that includes Michigan's taste in garbage candy corn."
    For an innocuous little treat, candy corn sure sparks strong opinions.
    You can count Black among the haters too. In one of his stand-up bits, the comic jokes that manufacturers just collect and resell the same candy kernels year after year, because nobody actually eats the stuff.
    "All the candy corn that's ever been made was made in 1911," he says.
    But the treat scored first or second for preferred Halloween munch in most states, proving there's candy corn lovers out there - somewhere.

    It used to be made by hand in large kettles

    Candy corn seems like a relatively modern invention, but it dates to the 1880s, before the automobile and the commercial telephone. The Goelitz Candy Co. began making it in 1900 before the family-run operation changed its name to the Jelly Belly Candy Co., which still produces candy corn toda