Candy corn has become the trendy rock star of Halloween candies. It shows up everywhere and in every form now—candy corn gummies, candy corn ice cream, candy corn jelly beans, candy corn lattes. Candy corn is the new pumpkin. It even makes appearances at other holidays now, like in green and red colors at Christmas or pink and red at Valentines. Sacrilege! KIDS, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS REINDEER CORN.
What happened to the days when candy corn was just that corn-syrupy confection that sat in the corner in a festive bowl, resting on a seasonal doily, getting hard as rocks? One bag of the stuff would somehow last the whole thirty-one days of October. Candy corn used to consider itself lucky if it got to share a bag with Mellowcreme Pumpkins.
Well M&M’s has now made its own contribution to the candy corn craze. The White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M’s are new to the 2011 Halloween season. New Halloween products are exciting enough on their own, but I had even higher expectations being that they were M&M’s. M&M’s regularly hits it out of the park with variations like the now-standard peanut butter M&M’s, the seasonal coconut M&M’s, and not to mention those ridiculously addictive pretzel ones. My god.
Aside – the Green girl M&M is hot. Just saying.
So less than twenty-four hours ago, I was on a mission. I sought a bag of White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M’s. They told me I’d never find them. That they were only alleged. A regional myth. The white whale of M&M’s. It was the kind of thing that would drive me to madness, they said.
I said, no. It’s the kind of thing that drives me, period.
Well, okay, so they’re not hard to find at all. The Internet lies. Rest assure, they’re easily found at Wal-Mart. In fact, they’re exclusive to Wal-Mart, a phrase that makes me feel dirty, as though I have purchased a NASCAR Pez dispenser or Eagles CD.
To make it a momentous occasion, I didn’t just go to the regular old, flickery-lights, cockroachy Wal-Mart. I drove five more exits down the highway to the SUPER WAL-MART, which never seems as-bad-for-you since they’re cleaner and sell some sketch-looking vegetables. Plus it’s damn-near patriotic at 200,000 square feet, a small country’s worth of Wal-Martness.
No problems finding my White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M’s. They’re right there blowing up the helm of the Halloween section. The bags are a hefty little 9.90 ounces for $2.48 a piece. For a minute, I felt compelled to stock up, in case these things became a Halloween craze or in case they really were scarce and I had happened upon a magical stockpile of them. Hell, my wedding and honeymoon are over now. It doesn’t really matter if I get a little fat now, right? I mean, there probably isn’t going to be another picture taken of me until at least Christmas. And I mean, I’M IN A FREAKING SUPERRRR WAL-MART.
I was hulking out with three bags in my hand, which was nearly two pounds of white chocolate fat and sugar. Then I remembered I don’t even like white chocolate all that much. So I put two bags back.
So anyway, what the hell are these? Are they white chocolate flavor? Are they candy corn flavor? What are they? They couldn’t very well be both things at once. Could they? Perhaps there was a greater knowledge to be had in White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M’s. You know, like religion and how God can be many things or one thing, somehow at the same time.
But I knew the truth in my gut before I even opened the bag—that they were just white chocolate M&Ms in the colors of candy corn. And that’s exactly what they are. They’re larger and heavier than regular M&M’s, filled with a buttercreamy and soft white chocolate. They’re delicious, but there ain’t nothing candy corn about ’em. In English class when reading literature, I believe this is what’s called “suspending disbelief.”
If M&M’s were selling us a brand new white chocolate M&M, I’d say it was another homerun—EXCEPT, M&M’s already sold these once before back in 2006 as a tie-in for Pirates of Caribbean, known then as the White Chocolate Pirate Pearls. Sneaky, M&M’s.
In the end, I want to knock off points for being unoriginal and also NOT BEING AT ALL LIKE CANDY CORN except in name and color. They couldn’t even add some marshmallowy or honey notes. Come on, man. That’s cheap.
And yet, I sort of want to give them points for having the gall at all to pull it off. The thing is, they’re good. Damn good. They have a satisfying weight and sweetness to them. It’s not cloying or syrupy like crappy white chocolate. They’re made from cocoa butter and milk, so this is the real deal, real white chocolate. Combine that with the crispy, light outer shell, and these are good stuff. Put ’em in a bowl and the colors are gonna look great on your Halloween table. These still feel “Halloweeny” to me, so I’m going to give them a begrudging thumbs up.
As far as candy corn, there’s a lot of other faux-candy corn things out there that do it better. Or you know, you could go old-school and get actual candy corn. Which you really should by now.