7 Tasty Facts About Halloween Treats

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Ever wondered what M&M's stands for? Or how the Dum-Dum "Mystery Flavor" is created? Read on for some fun facts about a few Halloween staples.

1. Candy corn has been around since the late 1800s. At that time, there was no air conditioning, and even electric fans were a rare luxury. Beginning in March each year, men worked over steaming kettles slurring together sugar, water and corn syrup. Butter crème was added for texture, and marshmallow to give the candy a softer bite. Men carrying 45 lb. buckets of the hot mixture would then walk slowly backwards, pouring the candy into the kernel-shaped molds. Three passes were necessary, one for each color. Six days per week, 10 hours per day, for a weekly salary of just over $5.
2. At the Spangler Candy Company factory, as the run of one Dum-Dum flavor is close to completion in the factory, a second flavor is set up for the next run. Rather than shut down to clean out the flavor vats and equipment, Spangler made "Mystery Flavor" pops out of the combination of flavors—the tail end of the old, and the beginning of the new.
3. M&M's actually stands for "Mars & Murrie's," the last names of the candy's founders, Forrest Mars Sr. & William F. R. Murrie. (Now you know.)

4. Necco Wafers are made by the same company that produces Conversation Hearts for Valentine's Day.
reese5. Canadians are less possessive about their candy, apparently; in the Great White North, those peanut butter cups are simply called "Reese," not "Reese's."
6. The Snickers candy bar was named after a racehorse owned by Frank Mars (of the Mars candy family).
7. It didn't become a Halloween tradition for parents to have their children's candy inspected and X-rayed until 1975. The previous year, a Texas father in quest of insurance money deliberately gave his own son a poisoned Pixy Stix. Until his plan was uncovered, however, no one knew exactly where the tainted candy had come from.

October 30, 2009 - 6:37pm
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