|photo by ana traina ~ 2011 ~|
Corn is one of the traditional foods and decorations for the Pagan celebration of Samhain (The Festival of the Dead). Enterprising Americans made orange, yellow and white candy in the shape of a corn kernel. In the 1880s, the Philadelphia based Wunderle Candy Factory was the first to commercially produce these Hallowe’en treats.
The treat was made from a base combination of sugar, corn syrup and honey, but it was the revolutionary tri-color design (yellow top, orange center, white point) that had late 19th-century consumers so eager to chomp the tiny delights.
However, the turn-of-the-century manufacturing process was both time-consuming and labor-intensive. It required the newly cooked candy mixture to be dumped into 45-pound buckets called "runners." Next, men called "stringers" would walk backwards while hand-pouring the hot syrup into rows of trays that had kernel-shaped imprints. What made the task so burdensome, however, was the fact that the men had to make three separate passes to layer the colors – one each for the white, orange and yellow syrup mixtures.
As a result of this cumbersome process, candy makers were only able to produce the corn seasonally, from March through November.
Just a Bit of Odds and Ends ~ It has occurred to me that perhaps, just perhaps, these little white, orange and yellow sugary bits have a magical power...they can raise the dead.
There is a legend that the ghost of movie star Humphrey Bogart visits New York every October 31st to warn people not to stay in California too long.