Why doesn’t candy corn look like corn?

Candy Corn. You either love it or love to hate it, but this fall treat has become as much of America’s autumn experience as Pumpkin Spice and Halloween costumes.

If you’ve grown up with this sweet treat, you’ve probably wondered more than a time or two why on earth it is called candy corn. Sure, the yellow end of it looks corn-ish, but the orange and white parts that come to a point don’t really resemble the vegetable we eat.

You may be surprised to know that candy corn actually does bear some resemblance to the vegetable. The reason it isn’t readily recognizable to us is because we tend to get our food at the grocery store and are so far removed from the agricultural process of harvesting corn.

Candy corn looks like dried out corn kernels used for seeds. It isn’t exactly bright orange, but as you can see in the picture below, it is yellow on one end, brownish in the middle and white at the pointed tip.

It doesn’t look like the corn you eat on the cob, and it doesn’t look like canned or frozen corn, but candy corn would have looked a lot more like corn in America’s agrarian past. They would have caught the resemblance immediately.

In fact, candy corn was called “Chicken Feed” when it was originally produced in 1880. And how does it resemble chicken feed, you ask? Farmers often feed chickens dried corn kernels.


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