By Kimberly Holland

How can you say candy corn is the worst Halloween candy when circus peanuts exist?

Every fall, candy corn is pulled onto the public stage and flogged for being "the worst Halloween candy." But in some states, like the one I live in (Alabama), it's actually the most popular Halloween candy. Idaho, Michigan, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and South Carolina agree.

But I can't help but wonder why these petite triangles of mushy corn syrup and confectioner's glaze (also known as shellac) get as much hate as they do. After all, circus peanuts exist, and they deserve the ire of everyone.

Photo: pamela_d_mcadams/Getty Images

Circus Peanuts can best be described as a sponge with edible ingredients and sometimes flavor. And in that description, I'm being too kind. These peanut-shaped "marshmallow" candies date back to the 19th century, a time I guess people didn't have taste buds. They were sold as penny candy, which I'm sure means many kids cleaned their way into one of these treats.

But to them, I think we owe a collective apology. We're sorry you thought this was candy.

You see, when I hear someone say candy corn is the worst, I have to ask why. Is it a flavor thing? Sure, candy corn is often sickly sweet, but it has a distinctive flavor that's one part buttery and one part cooked sugar. (Is that a flavor?)

Is candy corn's texture to blame for the great distaste? The waxy shell and chewy interior may be a bit unusual or off-putting to some. It isn't a meltable candy, and it isn't wholly chewy like a marshmallow or gummy. Certainly the texture is in a category of its own.

But altogether, candy corn at least offers a unique experience of flavor and texture.

Circus peanuts don't offer, well, any of that. They're bland blobs of spongy sugar shaped to look like a peanut. They're orange, which suggests a citrus flavor. But no! You'll detect a hint of artificial banana flavoring.

Perhaps because it's a sensory experience that leaves you feeling dizzy or because the candy is just terrible, I have to argue that circus peanuts, not candy corn, are indeed the absolute worst. You all should adjust your votes accordingly.

And peanut kisses, if it weren't for the fact you at least have some redeeming nutty flavor, this entire rant could have been about you.

Related: 5 New Candy Corn Varieties Will Hit Shelves for Halloween