The Bizarre Way Lemonhead Candy Got Its Name

No one can argue that Lemonhead candies have some serious selling power. According to Snack History, these lemon-flavored hard, sour candies have helped parent company Ferrara Candy secure the fourth-highest position in candy sales in America, and one of the biggest non-chocolate candy companies around. Some of this success links back to the brand's iconic Lemonheads, which have a name as unique as their taste. 

While this candy seems like it got its name from the signature lemon flavor, the founder of the company actually took inspiration from his grandson's lemon-shaped head (via Buzzfeed). According to Snack History, Nello Ferrara, the former executive of Ferrara Candy and son of the founder, chose the name for Lemonheads after witnessing the birth of his son. The newborn allegedly had a head shaped like a lemon and inspired Ferrara to name the new confection after the child's appearance. While this story seems like an exaggeration, or even made up to create a mythos around the candy, loved ones in the Ferrara family back up the story as its told.

A cranial shape that inspired a candy

While some couldn't believe this outlandish origin story of Lemonheads' name, Ferrara family members have attested to the story's validity. According to NPR, Salvatore Ferrara II, the son and the namesake of the Lemonhead candy, confirmed this legend in a 2012 interview. His father would claim that "when I was born, I came out with the shape of a lemon head. Which, if you ever met me, you'll know my head is not in the shape of a lemon. He claims that the first thing he said when he saw me was, 'Oh my God, I have a lemonhead for a son.'" This same executive who named the candy after his son had a variety of eccentricities, like breaking into song when dining out at restaurants, and lifting a 100-pound bag of sugar with his teeth to demonstrate that candy couldn't hurt your dental health.

With a character like this, it just makes sense that Lemonhead candies took their name after the skull of the company executive's newborn child. Next time you dig into a bag of these time-tested candies, take some time to remember their namesake and enjoy all the eccentricity that went into making this confection memorable.