REVIEW: Hershey’s Candy Corn Creme Bars

Hershey's Candy Corn Bar

If we’re going to continue to be friends, I feel there are a few things you should know about me. One is that I have learned most of my morals from a VHS copy of The Muppet Show and my bearded Uncle Bumsford who told me stories while flinging an ax into a stump in the backyard. Another is that I don’t mind, even downright enjoy, preservative-laden stuff. So long as the preservatives are working in the product’s favor, I see no flim or flaw. Bring me thy Jell-o pudding, thy toaster pastries, thy individually wrapped Little Debbies!

And that’s where these come in.

With enough Vegetable Oil Compounds to create an artistic rendering of the Icelandic glaciers, this new Hershey’s Candy Corn Bar is not one to illicit positive reviews from the authors of the USDA food pyramid, but neither does candy corn. Candy corn celebrates the odd, the waxy, the culinarily questionable ingredients, and if there’s anyone who’s familiar with handling questionable confectionary ingredients, it’s Hershey’s. Sure, sometimes things go awry in the Hershey lab, but I continue to put my Halloween faith in their corporate clutches. Am I foolish? Open-minded? Just outright idiotic? Let’s find out.

Hershey's Candy Corn Bar Candy Corn as a sugary little block

There is a distinct sweetness of candy corn that, when mulled with preservatives, creates a hyper-sweet sensation that is appealing to the sugar-inclined individual. It tastes of wax and corn syrup solids, maybe a hint of plastic and, guess what? That’s what these bars are made of: waxy stuff and corn syrup. Sugary and quick to melt, the bars are pleasant in that dairy milk confection way, making them easy to nibble as they get goopy all over your hands in 82-degree weather. It’s terrifying and awesome.

However, unlike candy corn, Hershey’s seems to have skipped the whole “honey” ingredient, which, in some respects, is a good thing. For example, you won’t have to worry about being attacked by a hungry honey bear or a swarm of vengeful bees. On the not-as-positive end, the bars don’t have the strong distinguishing taste that honey provides. In fact, they don’t have any particular taste. No vanilla. No rum. Just sugar.

If I close my eyes and use my imagination, there’s something slightly fruity at the end as if someone spliced Cadbury Egg Crème with dehydrated strawberry nubs, but it’s more about the abundance of sugar and texture: melty, melty, melty. While not a stunner on its own, I imagine all that Melting Sugar Goo would making an excellent fall s’more smashed between two Pumpkin Pop-Tarts and a chocolate marshmallow. As Uncle Bumsford always said: a s’more always solves your “What the hell do I do with all this mediocre candy?” problems.

Hershey's Candy Corn Bar interior

These little bars are pretty good. Are they made of lavender honey harvested from a flowery meadow by the Andrena hattorfiana bumblebees? No, but neither is candy corn. To expect otherwise would be unfair. By the abundance of sugar alone, these did a modest job at reimagining the experience of chomping on fistfuls of candy corn. While the dull, vegetable-oiled flavor leaves room for growth, at $3.69, I really can’t grumble too much.

If you’re a fan of corn syrup or drinking Cadbury Crème straight from the shell, you shall enjoy this. It will give you a good dose of sugar and Carnauba Wax, and sometimes that’s all you need to get to the next house for All Hallow’s Eve.

(Nutrition Facts – 3 bars – 200 calories, 100 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 35 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 19 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Hershey’s Candy Corn Creme Bars
Purchased Price: $3.69
Size: 9.45 oz bag
Purchased at: Kmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Melty. Perfect for Cadbury Crème lovers. Supports the cause of Trick-or-Treaters. Uncle Bumsford. VHS series of The Muppet Show.
Cons: No defining flavor aside from sugar. Carbauna wax. Grumpy USDA Food Pyramid authors. Vengeful bumblebees.

REVIEW: Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn

Brach's S'mores Candy Corn

Halloween is right around the corner…if you consider “right around the corner” synonymous with “weeks from now.”

I’ve never been one to come up with a crazy costume idea for Halloween, but this year is going to be different. Instead of donning my traditional “Who Farted?” shirt, my forty-nine friends and I had planned on wearing grayscale jumpsuits of varying intensities. (We were going to be Fifty Shades of Grey.) Then I realized I don’t have forty-nine friends, so I’ve decided to wear no costume at all. (Literally, no costume. I’m going as one of the models in the music video for Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines.)

I like to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters based on the creativity and originality of their costumes. Last year, I gave king-sized Dove chocolate bars to six middle schoolers dressed as the Village People. Every child that showed up as Psy from Gangnam Style went home with a handful of candy corn, raisins, and pennies.

I spent this morning browsing the aisles at my local Rite Aid in hopes of replenishing my supply of crappy candies. (Shopping seventy-nine days in advance provides ample time for them to become stale.) Next to the Smarties and Bit-O-Honey, I spotted a bag of Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn. Could the addition of s’mores flavoring bring forth a new era of acceptance for this polarizing candy? I had to know! I swiftly grabbed a bag and hurried back home to taste the goods.

As I opened the bag, I instantly noticed the pungent aroma of candy corn wafting through the air. Unlike the traditional variety, the scent of these s’mores flavored candy corn is tinged with the fragrance of chocolate.

Brach's S'mores Candy Corn Closeup

Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn comes in the standard shape and size of traditional candy corn. Each candy kernel features three colors: a brown base, a white center, and an orange tip. I assume the brown represents the chocolate flavor, the white represents the marshmallow, and the orange represents…the graham cracker? C’mon, Brach’s. I know that’s the original orange candy corn dye you’re using. Fess up.

Texturally, s’mores candy corn possesses the same waxy form and consistency as its traditional counterpart. When eaten whole, the candy features a sugary chocolate taste strongly reminiscent of chocolate cake frosting. However, chocolate is largely the only flavor experienced; any marshmallow and graham cracker flavors present in the candy corn are imperceptible to the tongue. Nevertheless, the chocolate quality is palatable and sugary sweet in all the right ways.

Hoping to better discern the fusion of flavors, I decided to experience the color components of the s’mores candy corn individually. As expected, the brown section tastes strongly of the aforementioned chocolate cake frosting. In comparison, the white section has a more subtle sweetness with a creamier quality, but its flavor profile lacks any resemblance to marshmallow. Sadly, the orange tip failed to impress with its dearth of flavor, tasting merely of generic sugar.

Unfortunately, Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn suffers from the same fatal flaw that plagues traditional candy corn: eating more than five pieces in a short period of time is disagreeable. Consuming excess amounts of s’mores candy corn leaves a strange scratchy sensation in the back of the throat. Therefore, it’s best not to binge eat this candy corn.

Despite its failure to provide a suitable imitation s’mores flavor, I found Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn to be a unique and satisfying take on traditional candy corn. In moderation, its sugary chocolate flavor was pleasing to the taste buds. Those who bitterly loathe candy corn might be somewhat disappointed in Brach’s product, but I highly recommend s’mores candy corn as a tasty deviation from the norm during the upcoming Halloween season.

Happy Halloween, weeks in advance.

(Nutrition Facts – 19 pieces – 140 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 28 grams of sugars, and 0 grams of protein.)

Item: Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn
Purchased Price: $1.69
Size: 9 oz. bag
Purchased at: Rite Aid
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Palatable chocolate flavor. Same candy corn texture. Unique deviation from the norm. Halloween, seventy-nine days in advance.
Cons: Marshmallows and graham cracker flavors are imperceptible. Provide scratchy sensation in throat. Way too many kids dressed as Psy.