Candy corn, folks at home: candy corn sucks. This is neither an ideological nor a conceptual complaint; that is to say, candy corn sucks not because it (almost certainly) originated in some steamy, foul-smelling, nightmarish industrial wasteland, or because it is artificially flavored, or because it most likely resulted from a corporate brainstorming session about how to profitably dispose of excess horse earwax leftover from the glue-making process. No, candy corn doesn't suck because those things are true; it sucks because it tastes like those things are true. With Halloween confections, this is all that matters. Nobody's particularly het up about Nerds, which, factually, are calcified alien boogers, because Nerds are scrumptious.
Candy corn sucks because it sucks to eat, because the little nuclear-warhead-shaped kernels taste like a particularly sadistic circle of hell in which all your favorite sensory experiences—the chewiness of caramel, the delicate sophisticated cordiality of vanilla—are corrupted into horrible mockeries of themselves, and when you taste them they worm their way into your unconscious mind and warp even the memory of the authentic experience and you can't taste or smell or think about or remember anything else because they're all there is and also they gave you the runs.
The stuff is weird enough as is that the idea of putting quotes around it and turning it into an artificial flavoring is beyond bizarre: like making a shitty bitmap version of an already crummy airbrush painting of 2Pac from a lousy T-shirt you got at a mall kiosk. It's doubly odd to pair this artificial candy corn flavoring with the Oreo cookie, one of the few truly perfect foods, as well as the single most important development of the 20th century.
It'll be a great relief to you, then, to know that this is not what the wise folks at Nabisco have done, because the "Candy Corn Oreo" tastes nothing like candy corn whatsoever. What it tastes like is vanilla buttercream frosting, and, friends, it is goddamn delicious.
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Which, I suppose, raises the question of whether this makes the "Candy Corn Oreo" a success, because it tastes like a crunchy little cookie-shaped vanilla cupcake with buttercream frosting, and that is wonderful, or a failure, because the scientists at Nabisco have created something that doesn't taste like candy corn. This is a question you will ponder absolutely not at all as you wedge as many of these things into your face as your cheeks can hold, but maybe somewhere down the line you can pose it to your grandkids and blow their minds.
No, your concern today is not the meaning of the Candy Corn Oreo, but rather how best to eat it, and several hundred of its brethren.
Otherwise passably-sane-seeming person Lindy West did her Candy Corn Oreo-eating effort no favors by parsing the thing with the same ludicrous delicacy with which the terminally joy-deficient judges on Cupcake Wars "eat" the baked goods placed in front of them (as though dissecting with a shrimp fork a miniature cake decorated like R2D2 and taking puny little nibbles of the component parts is anything other than an invitation to be wedgied): twisting the cookie brackets apart, peeling the orange-and-yellow cream filling out with her fingertips, regarding it like a freshly extracted tapeworm, and eating it by itself, followed by the cookies. I tried this technique, too, and still found the Candy Corn Oreo plenty tasty, which is how I know that poor Lindy has been cursed with withered non-functioning taste buds. Accordingly, I have made a condescending sympathy face which I will be airbrushing onto a shirt for her.
Still, this isn't how you eat an Oreo, folks. Whether you're a dunker or a twister or you just eat the friggin' things like the by-God cookies they by-God are, the most important thing you bring to the eating of Oreos is gusto!—and this is true whether they're regular Oreos or Double Stuf Oreos or Candy Corn Oreos. If you can't get excited for hoovering down a cream-filled sandwich cookie, whatever its origins or seasonally themed artificial flavor/color combination, then no number of fancy [exaggerated air-quotes] ingredients [close exaggerated air-quotes] is going to vivify your leathery dead heart. You're eating an Oreo! Eat it like you mean it!
With that in mind, the whole twisting-and-separating thing is wrong—wrong, I tell you!—and I'm here to put a stop to it. When you order a Reuben from a deli (because this is what you order at delis because you order things that are good because you are not stupid), you don't gingerly peel back the toasty bread, hold up a slice of corned beef between the vanishing tips of your fingernails like it's a used snotrag someone just dumped in your soup, and place it on your tongue like … well, like a used snotrag someone just dumped in your soup. Nor do you twist apart the two pieces of bread and lick off the Russian dressing, unless you're some kind of monster. No! You open your mouth as wide as you can, shove as much of the sandwich in there as good manners will allow, and you saw off, gnaw, and gulp down the biggest bite of the fucker you can survive eating all at once. Generally speaking, unless you are a velociraptor or Steven Tyler, this will come to no more than 40 percent of the sandwich, which is fine, because it means you get to do it again one-and-a-half times before you are forced to sheepishly order two more Reubens.
And so it is with the Candy Corn Oreo. Based on the results of an extensive trial session (in a related story, I gained 12 pounds this week and developed Type 2 diabetes), the very best way to eat a Candy Corn Oreo is to lift the intact cookie to your mouth and bite off no more than 40 percent of it; then to furrow your brow and widen your eyes slightly, as though at once surprised and a little bit outraged that you were not sooner notified of this, and in a chewing-muffled voice, say: "Oh God. Oh, oh God." Then you have to lower both your eyelids and your head a little bit, as though sadly accepting the bittersweet transience of joy as it blows gently through your hair, and shake your head slightly as you say, more quietly, in a farewell-to-my-old-friend voice, "Aw man."
I'll happily grant that it may be challenging to perfect this procedure on your first attempt. Do feel free to practice liberally until you've got it just right. I myself am not quite there yet, and so I bid you grmf mmfr gmmr mmmf.
Albert Burneko is an eating enthusiast and father of two. His work can be found destroying everything of value in his crumbling home. Peevishly correct his foolishness at email@example.com.