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Candy corn bratwurst are being made in Wisconsin — and selling out

Candy corn bratwurst is here … and it's "slightly sweet & not scary at all."
According to its creator, it's a "traditional brat" made with Oktoberfest beer and, of course, candy corn.
According to its creator, it's a "traditional brat" made with Oktoberfest beer and, of course, candy corn.Courtesy Jenifer Street Market
/ Source: TODAY

You got your candy corn. And you got your bratwursts. And if you live in Madison, Wisconsin … you can now get both of those, uh, unusual taste sensations in one "SpookTober" package.

Yep, that's right: Two butchers in the Madison-based Jenifer Street Market have done the unthinkable, marrying the super-sugary orange-and-yellow candy corn with their bratwursts. The result? A surprisingly popular seasonal treat, rather than a goofy trick.

"It's just your traditional brat," Justin Strassman, who's worked with Wil Hetzel behind the butcher's counter at the market for six years, told TODAY Food. "But we use an Oktoberfest beer in there, so there's that caramel sweetness. We usually make the traditional brat, and we thought to change it up with candy corn."

The men behind the brats: Wil Hetzel (l.) and Justin Strassman.
The men behind the brats: Wil Hetzel (l.) and Justin Strassman.Courtesy Justin Strassman

Their inspiration? A trip to the grocery store. "For some reason, that's the thing that clicked," he added.

He reports that lots of folks are coming in to check out the new flavor, including NBC15 anchor Isabel Lawrence, who posted that "Honestly this was delicious" on Twitter:

The idea struck in early October, and it took off almost right away. According to Strassman, they're selling twice as fast as the traditional brats. And this in a store that offers other unusual brat flavors, like a brandy Old-Fashioned and a bacon-onion-cheddar brat.

Each batch of brats churns out about 120 of the links, which includes 25 pounds of brat meat, three cans of Wisconsin's Lake Louie Brewing Oktoberfest beer and two bags of candy corn. They go for $4.99 a pound, one dollar more than the traditional brat, and the market has called them "Slightly sweet & not scary at all" on Twitter.

Not every experimental flavor has worked, Strassman notes: They once tried a root beer float brat, which "didn't do anything." Nor did a "supreme pizza brat."

Since it's hit or miss, TODAY made sure to mention that Brach's has a bag of Turkey Dinner-flavored candy dorn, which seemed to grab Strassman's attention (even if the flavors did get trashed in a recent viral review).

"That could really work, if you had a turkey flavor put into the pork, or a sage and onion seasoning," Strassman mused. "That might work really well. I'll have to check it out."

He promised to report back if such a mashup went into production.

So why does the candy corn-brat combo work so well? Strassman isn't entirely sure, but he suspects the casing helps to keep the candy corn intact.

"Brats are good, but I'm more of a burger fan," he admitted.

Does that mean he would put candy corn on a burger? "Absolutely not!"

At least there are limits.