Mellowcreme pumpkins

Reprinted in today’s bon appétit magazine mailing:

(#1) 10/25/16 feature by Amanda Shapiro

The Best Candy Is: Mellowcreme Pumpkins, Because This Isn’t Even a Contest: Get out of here with your candy corn: Mellowcreme pumpkins are the best Halloween candy of all time.

It doesn’t matter how old you are—everyone knows that the best part of Halloween is the candy, whether you’re trick-or-treating or buying it in bulk “for the office.” Every day this week, Bon Appétit staffers defend their absolute favorite candy, a thing we have very strong opinions about.

Every fall for the last four years I’ve Instagrammed a bag of mellowcreme pumpkins. That’s because they’re the best fall candy and the best candy period. But I understand that they’re also controversial. You either love the pumpkin, as you should, or you hate the pumpkin and are wrong.

First let’s define some terms. A mellowcreme pumpkin is candy corn in the shape of a teensy pumpkin. What is “mellowcreme” exactly? That’s not important. The pumpkins are made out of sugar, corn syrup, something called “shellac,” gelatin, sesame oil, honey, and four artificial food colorings including my favorite, Yellow #5. Look, I’m not saying they’re good for you. I’m just saying they’re the best.

The appeal of the mellowcreme pumpkin begins with the texture. They’re soft and dense like marzipan on the inside with a just-hard-enough outer shell. Then there’s the taste, which seems like pure honey despite honey being near the bottom of the ingredient list. It’s truly amazing what corn syrup can do!

So they’re just candy corn in a different shape, with a different texture, and some honey flavor. Note: Nothing in candy corn suggests the flavor or scent of (any kind of) corn, and nothing in mellowcreme pumpkins suggests the the flavor or scent of either pumpkin or pumpkin spice. Their vegetable connections are entirely visual.

Shapiro continues:

Some claim the mellowcreme pumpkin is too sweet. To these people I say, go drink a green juice. The point of eating candy is to mainline sugar into your bloodstream as quickly as possible. Mellowcreme pumpkins are the drones of sugar delivery.

Chocolate lovers won’t be impressed by mellowcreme pumpkins, but there are plenty of candies in the world for them. Leave mellowcremes for the rest of us.

It’s true they’re a little waxy. That’s because of the “shellac” that seals in all the good stuff and keeps the pumpkins from melting together in the bag. The inside-to-surface-area ratio of a mellowcreme pumpkin is high enough that the shell is barely noticeable amid the explosions of honeyed sugar that you experience while you chew.

(#2) Pumpkins in their Brach’s bag

Mellowcreme pumpkins are an autumn gift, a cure for the end-of-summer blues. Sometimes I imagine a world in which they are available year-round. There could be mellowcreme people alongside gingerbread people, mellowcreme Easter bunnies, and mellowcreme American flags. But I firmly believe in eating seasonally, and P.S. they freeze well.

Yesterday, of course, was National Candy Corn Day. Tomorrow is the Day of the Dead, when we get serious candy:

(#3) Sugar skull candy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: