Brach’s is the best brand of candy corn (at least that I have tried), so I’m happy it’s the one taking on this challenge.
How is it?
Honestly, I’m not sure if I’ve ever had an officially licensed Funfetti cake. But I have eaten plenty of cake.
And this candy corn really does taste like cake!
Or rather, it takes like frosting. But haven’t we all wanted to eat frosting by the spoonful out of a can? This candy corn allows us to do that without the shame.
Of course, frosting is just intense sweetness without a particularly strong flavor. The same could be said about candy corn. So Funfetti candy corn isn’t that different than regular candy corn.
Anything else you need to know?
Candy corn is usually known for its vibrant colors, so it’s a bit surprising they opted for drab shades of yellow and pink for the Funfetti variety. That’s not fun! But the edible confetti pieces help out.
Funfetti Candy Corn tastes like cake icing. But if you snuck some of this flavor in with regular candy corn, the eater probably wouldn’t notice much of a difference. I enjoy eating Funfetti Candy Corn, but it is not better or worse than its ordinary Brach’s counterpart.
Purchased Price: $3.49 Size: 8 oz. bag Purchased at: Walgreens Rating: 7 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (15 pieces) 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 22 grams of sugar (including 22 grams of added sugar), and 0 grams of protein.
You know storm chasers, those people who deliberately seek out horrifying and dangerous phenomena for the thrill of it? That’s exactly the kind of relationship I have with disgusting novelty snacks, so when I heard about Brach’s Tailgate Candy Corn, I got as excited as my dad at an actual tailgate.
I happened to have relatives visiting from overseas while I was reviewing this candy, and because I’m a bad person, I convinced them that these would be a great taste of American culture. After stomaching a single corn, one cousin begged me to include the phrase “offense to the senses” in my review (thanks, mate!), and spoiler alert, things will only get more scathing.
There’s such a wide range of experiences in this bag (specifically, that range goes from “probably won’t make you puke” to, well, the opposite) that I had to give every flavor its own rating. I also had to take some liberties figuring out which flavor was which — Brach’s, perhaps rightfully ashamed of what they’ve wrought, doesn’t indicate this anywhere on the bag.
White top, yellowy bottom: vanilla ice cream. In addition to being the only flavor whose two-toned color scheme really makes sense, this is the least offensive by far. It’s overwhelming sweet with a weird caramel undertone. Maybe that’s supposed to represent the malty taste of a cone, but probably it’s just to justify calling this something other than “pure sugar.” Still, it’s impressively bearable. 5 out of 10.
Reddish top, pale pink bottom: fruit punch. As overly sweet as the vanilla ice cream, this is probably the flavor that tastes the most like how it’s supposed to — and yet this time, the weird undertone is the taste of chemicals. It reminded me of Hawaiian Punch, if Hawaiian Punch was worse. 4 out of 10.
White top, pale yellow bottom: popcorn. Or, to be more accurate, flavor-that-tastes-nothing-like-popcorn. I was (naively) expecting something rich like Jelly Belly’s exemplary Buttered Popcorn bean. Instead, I got something that tastes how nail polish smells. It’s reminiscent of burnt garbage, just slightly saccharine. 3 out of 10.
Pinky-red bottom, yellowy top: is it hamburger? Is it hot dog? Is it fit for human consumption? The best way to describe this is to tell you that when trying my usual “take one bite for a first impression, then a second to understand the taste well enough to write about it” strategy, the prospect of having to choke down one more morsel made me genuinely distraught. More succinctly, this flavor is spicy, and that’s disturbing. I’m going to go ahead and associate that with hamburger, but — I hate to say it — more than anything, it tastes like vomit. 0 out of 10.
Pale pink top, yellowy bottom: hot dog, by process of elimination. And thank goodness for the process of elimination because there’s no way to tell what this is supposed to be just by eating it. It’s sort of smokey, but with an underlying — you guessed it! — sweetness that stresses me out. I’m sure there are situations where smokey and sweet flavors work well together, but this fluorescent party foul cannot be one of them. 1 out of 10.
I wanted to arrive at a total rating by taking the average of the scores for the individual flavors, but that would be a 2-rating, and that felt too high. This bag is worse than the sum of its parts; somehow, the fact that nearly half of the flavors are nearly edible just makes it even more demoralizing. The only thing it has in common with a real tailgate is the fact that both make me want to drink heavily.
Purchased Price: $3.49 Size: 11 oz bag Purchased at: Walgreens Rating: 1 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (15 pieces) 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 65 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 22 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.
In 2020 and 2021, Brach’s treated/trolled us with turkey dinner candy corn and most reviews thought they were terrible. (I never tried the 2021 version [thanks supply chain issues], but I know Brach’s got rid of my favorite flavors from 2020, ginger-glazed carrots and sweet potato pie, and kept the worst ones, stuffing and green bean.)
For 2022, the jelly bean brand is treating/trolling us with another bonkers product: Late Night Taco Truck Jelly Beans. It’s an Easter candy that also works for April Fools’ Day.
There are six flavors, so let’s dive in:
The margarita, green with no spots, has a strong citrus flavor. As a teetotaler, I have never had a margarita, but I love this jelly bean! Its flavor feels classier than a typical lime or orange candy. 9 out of 10.
Churro, brown with white spots, has a faint cinnamon flavor, but I wouldn’t say it’s like a churro. It vaguely tastes like some kind of fried treat, but I wouldn’t guess that if I didn’t know. I still like it, though. 7 out of 10.
Salsa, light red with dark red spots, is fascinating. I taste tomatoes! I taste peppers! It has a mild kick, and it really does taste like salsa. It’s not my first choice for a jelly bean flavor, but I also don’t dread it. 6 out of 10.
The beef taco flavor looks like a tortilla, off-white with yellow or brown spots. I get a slight beef flavor, but it mostly tastes like taco seasoning. That sounds gross, but it isn’t. 6 out of 10.
Guacamole, green with green spots, has a taste that reminds me of Southeast Asian food. I think that’s the cilantro talking. I like cilantro, so I don’t know how this would be for people who think the herb tastes like soap. I detect a mild kick, perhaps onion. It doesn’t really taste like avocado to me, but it’s a perfectly acceptable bean. 7 out of 10.
And horchata, white, has a strong cinnamon flavor. It tastes more like a churro than the churro one does. This is not the cinnamon that you’d expect from a red jelly bean, but more like actual ground cinnamon you’d find in horchata. It’s my favorite of the bunch. 9 out of 10.
I tried to recreate a taco by combining the salsa, guacamole, and beef taco flavors. The salsa dominated. Then I tried all six flavors together, and once again, salsa dominated, with a little more sweetness. This batch is best savored one flavor at a time.
Are there better-tasting jelly bean assortments out there? Absolutely. But none of these flavors are truly gross, and they’re so fun that I can overlook the weirdness.
If your experience with the turkey dinner candy corn scares you away, don’t let it. These jelly beans maintain the novelty but not the repulsiveness.
Purchased Price: $2.99 Size: 12 oz bag Purchased at: Target Rating: 8 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (21 pieces) 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 10 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 20 grams of sugar including 20 grams of added sugar, and 0 grams of protein.
Somewhere in the world, a withered monkey’s paw has lowered a finger.
Okay, fess up.
Which one of you wished for new candy?
I can only assume that’s how this product came to be because Brach’s has introduced a product no one could have honestly wanted: Turkey Dinner Candy Corn.
How is it?
It took me a while to put my finger on what these taste like because it’s not like any green bean I’ve ever tasted. Yet, there’s a certain noxious quality that’s familiar. Then it hit me. These taste spoiled. My only explanation is that whoever is responsible for this grew up eating canned green beans that had been boiled to mush and then left on the stovetop for too long.
Oh, wow! This really tastes like turkey! That’s a terrible thing for candy to taste like! Everything about this is off-putting. Even the yellow top of the candy corn reminds of the scummy fat that rises to the top of turkey drippings. I applaud the food scientists for managing to nail the flavor of a turkey dinner’s centerpiece, but wish they would use their skills for good rather than evil.
These taste generically fruity, but lack specific cranberry flavor and tartness. They wouldn’t be out of place in any other assortment of fruity candy, but fail to add to the turkey dinner theme.
Ginger Glazed Carrots
These are delightfully accurate recreations of their namesake. There’s real sweet carrot flavor with a spicy ginger bite. If you don’t like carrots or ginger, you won’t like them, but they’ll be a favorite for glazed carrot fans.
Sweet Potato Pie
These don’t taste anything like sweet potato pie, but they taste exactly like maple syrup. Given some of the other flavors’ awfulness, I’m going to count my blessings, not ask too many questions, and quickly move on.
I had no idea how the folks at Brach’s would replicate a savory side dish in a candy form. And it turns out neither did they because this one just tastes weird. There’s perhaps a toasted bread and herb note, but the sugary sweetness overwhelms any savory characteristic and results in a muddled mess.
Anything else you need to know?
A common trope in old sci-fi is the notion of having an entire meal in pill form, which always seemed odd to me. Who would rather swallow a pill than eat real food? Then, Silicon Valley introduced Soylent to the world because eat was getting in the way of productivity.
So, here’s my theory: some techbro was annoyed at getting yanked out his coding flow state to have Thanksgiving with his family, found a monkey’s paw, and then wished for some festive way to fulfill familial obligations as efficiently as possible.
It’s candy, so it’s fun! It’s also possible to eat by the handful, so it’s also very efficient! All the better for getting back to coding that dystopian facial recognition algorithm as quickly as possible.
Despite some truly horrific flavors, I must admit I come away impressed by Brach’s ability to offer the full cornucopia of Thanksgiving experiences in one bag. From the disgusting dish your younger cousin brings (Hush, everyone. He tried.) to the unexciting but crowd-pleasing favorites that Grandma faithfully delivers and the standout that everyone looks forward to every year, Brach’s Turkey Dinner Candy Corn replicates the highs and lows of a Thanksgiving with family.
Purchased Price: $2.99 Size: 12 oz bag Purchased at: Walgreens Rating: 4 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (15 pieces) 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 23 grams of sugar including 23 grams added sugar, and 0 gram of protein.
What are Brach’s Unicorn Horns and Dragon’s Teeth Candy Corn?
Brach’s has joined the unicorn fad with its new Unicorn Horns Fruity Candy Corn, which has five different flavors in pastel colors.
Also joining the party is Dragon’s Teeth Candy Corn, which has yellow and brown candies that taste like chocolate, and red and white candies that taste like strawberry.
How are they?
Let’s start with the Unicorn Horns. Although it says there are five fruity flavors, it doesn’t identify what those flavors are. The yellow and lighter orange are obviously lemon and orange. The darker orange is either mango or melon. The pink might be strawberry? And I assume the purple is grape, but I can’t taste that.
These aren’t plain fruit flavors; they’re more of a fruit and cream. The yellow and both oranges have a satisfying taste, and the yellow is noticeably softer than the other colors. The pink is OK, but I don’t care for the purple. Overall, though, it’s a delightful candy amalgamation, in part for the kitsch factor.
Now for the Dragon’s Teeth. (It’s just one dragon, apparently.) The chocolate ones taste the same as the Harvest Corn (formerly known as Indian Corn). The strawberry ones have a decidedly artificial flavor; I would have guessed it was cherry. Unlike the Unicorn Horns, there is no creaminess to it. It’s an OK combination.
Is there anything else I need to know?
The Unicorn Horns have a disclaimer that “no unicorns were harmed in the making of this product.” There is no such disclaimer for the Dragon’s Teeth. So I’m guessing Brach’s actually had to slay the dragon.
I liked Brach’s Unicorn Horns more than I expected. They remind me of the Starburst Candy Corn from a few years ago. But you can take a pass on the Dragon’s Teeth.
Purchased Price: $1.69 each Size: 9 oz. bags Purchased at: Smith’s (Kroger) Rating: 7 out of 10 (Unicorn Horns) Rating: 5 out of 10 (Dragon’s Teeth) Nutrition Facts: (15 pieces) Unicorn Horns – 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 60 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 23 grams of sugar (including 23 grams of added sugars), and 0 grams of protein. Dragon’s Teeth – 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 60 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 21 grams of sugar (including 21 grams of added sugars), and 0 grams of protein.