Do you want to make enemies? Buy them a bag of this absolute abomination. Happy Halloween, here are two of the most divisive candies all rolled into one! Nerds, which are basically little, tooth-breaking sugar pebbles. And candy corn, which is apparently like the Brussels sprouts of Halloween candy to some folks. Just a Frankenstein’s monster of unpleasantness in your mouth. Or so the general public would assume.
But, let me tell you… they are kind of as gross as you’d imagine. For some reason I thought they might have the crunch of an actual Nerd on the outside. But, nah, it’s more like what I imagine biting through dried wax would be like. Once through that, the interior does reasonably recreate that candy corn weird texture that is both a little toothy and kind of grainy at the same time. It’s a very specific candy corn thing. You know it when you bite it.
I don’t think the issue here is the texture. Though it might be a bit off-putting for some. Nor is it the really odd shapes that these things take on. Something between one of those candles you make at camp, and the aftermath of a brutal fight with a rabid unicorn-humanoid hybrid. I suppose you could best describe them as colorful, lumpy cones. But not even this might be a deterrent for some. What is truly odd are the flavors. Or, more so, the flavor combinations. There are six all together:
– Strawberry shell with grape & strawberry inside
– Grape shell with grape & strawberry inside
– Strawberry-lemon shell with blue raspberry & fruit punch inside
– Blue raspberry shell with blue raspberry & fruit punch inside
– Orange shell with cherry-watermelon inside
– Watermelon shell with cherry-watermelon inside
What in the hell is strawberry-lemon? And cherry-watermelon? Disgusting. Also grape mixed with strawberry is an absolute shitshow of atrociousness that makes me want to turn my skull inside out. These people are truly monsters. I mean look at the photo of these things. Is this food? Is this something you should be putting in your mouth? The different blobby shapes aren’t like McNuggets where there are like five different molds. No! They just put it all out there. It’s a canine. It’s a molar. It’s the rotten tooth of a 12th century syphilitic beggar! Whatever it is, this whole thing feels a bit out of control. Not to mention the fact that the coating seems to be dynamically affected by both heat and humidity. A tick up in the barometer or mercury can cause catastrophic molecular failure, resulting in the corns sticking to one another, creating a giant, tangled mass of sugary cringe.
The issue is, despite the visual assault and the misguided attempt to meld flavors that have no business together, these things are kind of addictive. After the initial face I made when first experiencing an orange/cherry-watermelon explosion, I put the things away and said never again. Even Hipster Jr. Jr. wouldn’t touch them. And she’d hoover straight sugar out of the bag if she didn’t think we’d stop her. But days later they stared at me from the pantry begging for someone to at least give them another try. And I don’t know if they needed to breathe like a fine wine, or if they obliterated my tastebuds in my initial go ’round, but they were way less offensive on the re-taste. The weird melding of “fruit” was way less jarring. And instead I noticed the thing that I actually like about candy corn: the texture. Yeah, I know people hate it. But I’m a fan. It’s like nothing else. But the thing with normal candy corn is that they kind of taste like the inside of the package more than anything else. So here we have a little more toothy candy corn, along with some actual taste. Whether it’s a good taste or a bad taste, I’m not sure. But it’s something. Kind of like the sauce packets at Taco Bell. Do they make the tacos taste better? Not really, I don’t think. But they just give them a little kick that hopefully infuses the whole thing with a little more personality overall and makes us forget the meat is boiled in a bag. So, in conclusion, candy corn is a Taco Bell taco. Nerds candy corn is a Taco Bell taco with that fire sauce. You’re welcome.