I finally figured out why they call it Candy Corn, and it only took me 46 years…
Ok, tell me I’m not alone. Tell me I’m not the only one who never quite understood how Candy Corn ever got its name.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve quite liked candy corn, but the name has always puzzled me. I never quite understood the “corn” part. Why corn? I mean, they’re little, orange, white and yellow, striped triangles. Candy CONE maybe, but candy CORN? It’s never made any sense to me at all.
First of all, there may be some of you wondering “What IS Candy Corn?”
For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, candy corn is a treat that, in some parts, is associated with Halloween. The candies are soft and sweet and a little chewy. They kind of taste a little like a marshmallow.
I can remember, as a kid, wondering what the reference to “corn” was all about, but I guess I just accepted it. I’d think about it briefly every October when the candies made their appearance in stores, but it was only ever a fleeting thought. I didn’t bother to actually look into WHY it was called candy CORN.
So, why DO they call it Candy Corn?
Well, one week ago, it hit me! I had my A-HA moment while sitting in the driveway with one little hooligans who was waiting for her Mom to arrive. We were picking kernels off our corn cobs (a project that’s kept us busy for a few weeks now). I thought it would be fun to line a few kernels up to see if they looked like teeth, and THAT’s when, in an instant, it all became clear.
How had I missed this? Every fall we spend days or even weeks plucking all of the kernels off a couple dozen ears of corn.
How had I not seen these bands of yellow and orange, and the white tip that connects the kernel to the cob.
Candy CORN. Of COURSE! It was so ridiculously simple. Too simple. How had I not figured it out before now?
I had a good laugh about it, and then excitedly shared my big news with my boys and my husband, and guess what. THEY had always wondered why it was called candy corn too!
Tell me we’re not alone!
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.
I’m curious as to why you are plucking corn kernels. What are you doing with them?
You are not alone. I never knew that either, but once you show the side by side photo it definitely makes sense.
We use them in our sensory bins, Irmie. We’ve used them to craft with, and we also had a great “corn run” happening here last year. You can check that out here: https://happyhooligans.ca/corn-run-with-hoses-and-funnels/
Rachael :: Nothing if Not Intentional
Who knew?! (Not me!) Thanks for sharing your a-ha moment! 🙂
I didn’t realize that real corn actually had those colors.
Yep, that’s pretty great! I didn’t know that either, and by reading the other comments, we weren’t the only ones!
I don’t think I’ve even seen dried corn before. Where do you get the dried husks? How were they dried?
Hi Anne. This isn’t the kind of corn you would eat. It’s harvested in the fall, and I think it’s used as food for livestock. You see it growing in the fields long after the summer (eating) corn has been harvested. It’s hard and dry like this when you pick it. I have a friend whose family has a field of it and she brings me a couple dozen cobs every year for us to explore here in the daycare. You can also usually find a few cobs on the stalks that you buy for decorating a front porch or entry-way.
I would like to say that I didn’t know, but I did. I grew up in the country and had to know the difference between sweet corn and field corn (for those rare times the field next door was growing corn). Field corn is indeed used in livestock feed. It is what you see people decorate their porches in the fall with and some people call it “Indian Corn.”
Ah, see so I actually do know a thing or two! I thought it was used for those reasons. I didn’t know it was called “field corn” though! I’ve heard from a few others who grew up in the country, or live in “corn country”, and my post didn’t teach them anything they didn’t know either. lol Thanks for the added info, KT!
Very very interesting. My baby is still a little young for it, but I’ll keep my eye out in the future. Thanks for the information, KT and happyhooligans!
No, Jackie, you were not alone with wondering why, LOL. Candy Corn is my favorite fall candy and I always pick up a bag as soon as the stores stock it. Thank you for your educational insight as well as something new to add to the children’s science table using a magnifying glass for a closer look.
My 15 yr old daughter tolde about this and was so excited and I responded I just assumed everybody already knew that:)
Have you seen where they stick the white tips of the candy in a banana and make corn on the cob….. that’s where the dots connected for me. Lol. It makes super cute snacks.
Oh my gosh! That’s brilliant! Love that you had a similar “lightbulb moment”, Lizzie!