Listen, candy corn exists because America has too much corn. Our government subsidizes corn farming, which leads to this surfeit, and the knock-on consequence of having corn turned into a million different food additives, like corn syrup, that find their way into almost all the food in our grocery stores. That we would take corn syrup and fashion it into a thing that looks like a badly diseased tooth and then sell it as a Halloween candy is just the sort of perverse performance art the American experiment has become known for, and I sorta love it.
At this point, you’re disappointed that I did not explain why I was writing about candy corn on a cycling site in the first paragraph. You’re right. That would have been the decent thing to do, but when in the history of Useless Reviews have I done the decent thing? Right. So sit tight.
Candy corn consists of sugar, corn syrup, carnauba wax, water, fondant, and marshmallow. Four of those things are sugar or mostly sugar. One of them is water, which is used to combine the other five. The last one is carnauba wax, which thickens the candy corn and gives it a shine. Carnauba wax is also used in shoe polish and deodorant, but don’t get too hung up on that. Or do.
What we have, in the end, is a bit-sized piece of stable sugar, in traditional fall colors, with a taste something like…um…candy corn. Oh, right. Yeah. You can’t say it tastes like itself. That’s tautological. Not at all helpful. And yet…what does candy corn taste like? I guess it tastes like what I imagine a bowling ball would taste like, if you could eat a bowling ball.
Taste doesn’t matter though. We’re cyclists. We’ve lived through Malt Nut PowerBars and the very limited run Clif Bar Cheeseburger Pizza flavor (I made that last one up. Sorry, Clif.) My point is that eating on the bike is utilitarian. You’ve got watts to smash. KOMs to K. You don’t have time for cucumber finger sandwiches or a squeeze tube of foie gras.
So what could be better than candy corn for fueling your next cycling escapade? There’s enough sugar, by weight, in a handful of candy corns to raise the recently deceased from their peaceful slumber. Assuming you can keep it down, a powerful dose of corns will bring you back from the brink of the bonk like a shot of Narcan to your tastebuds. I’m not saying you eat these things on your regular rides unless your penchant for suffering runs to the gastronomic as well. What I’m suggesting is that you might consider carrying a small parcel of them in your saddle bag as an emergency treatment for cycling-induced hypoglycemia.
Until someone invents a licorice-based, edible bar tape, this might be the easiest way to ensure you make it home from your most heroic efforts. Also, the vision of you fairly frothing at the mouth with the waxen effluent of a hastily quaffed wad of candy corns makes me chuckle, and that my cycling friends, is the only reason I even show up here.