Illustration: Karl Gustafson

Okay, hear me out.

I know there are those among you—many among you—who despise candy corn. As a lukewarm supporter of “Satan’s earwax,” I take shit from friends, neighbors, family, strangers, and people who work at The Takeout on the regular. Nor can I claim to have become a candy corn convert upon learning the trick I am about to offer for your consideration. I’ve always indulged in the occasional handful of candy corn in the fall; I’m a big proponent of Autumn Mix, so that you get those weird pumpkins and the “harvest corn” that Brach’s makes (which is just candy corn with cocoa powder). I like it all, I admit it, go ahead and get your pitchforks and have your shout. I’ll wait.

Moving on. This trick was taught to me by my friend Kelly Loris, who has absolutely no recollection of where she learned it. It’s just something she’s been doing for a long time. The trick to making candy corn tolerable to those who hate it is to add peanuts, salted or unsalted, and to eat the two together in their ideal ratio: one “corn” to two peanuts, popped in the mouth simultaneously. If a chemical formula existed, it would be P2C.

Photo: lauraag / Morrison1977 (iStock)

I have personally witnessed lifelong condemners of candy corn repeat this combination over and over again, all the while protesting how much they detest candy corn. Their mouths say one thing, but their hearts say another.

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A quick Google reveals that Kelly isn’t alone in mixing candy corn with peanuts. There are also recipes for candy corn peanut bark, candy corn peanut bars, candy corn Chex Mix, you get the idea. Many also observe, like her, that it tastes like a PayDay candy bar.

But as far as I am aware, my friend is alone in the most important element of her innovation. It is not enough to simply mix them. An avowed hater of the corn isn’t likely to be won over with a devil-may-care attitude toward sampling this mix. One peanut isn’t enough to dampen the candy cornness of the candy corn. Three peanuts is too many. More than one candy corn pushes it over the edge (and it doesn’t work so well with the weird pumpkins, I must say). Two peanuts, one candy corn. Repeat. P2C.

For those out there who, like, me, buy a tiny bag of the stuff every October and then hear bullshit about it until it’s gone, I offer this gift of Kelly’s, who is herself no fan of candy corn on its own. The satisfaction of watching people who prattle on incessantly about the grossness of candy corn reach again and again for two peanuts and one candy corn is not to be underestimated. Just don’t let it make you too smug. Actually, never mind. Go ahead and feel incredibly smug. After years of taking crap about candy corn, you’ve earned a little pettiness.

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