Corn pudding is a savory casserole that uses corn and thickening agents to create a creamy dish with a crunchy crust. It is distinguished from hasty pudding and grits, which are two creamy dishes that also use corn, because whole kernels are used.
Corn pudding is an American dish associated with Appalachia. It is most likely of Native American origin, as many similar creamy corn dishes can be traced back to corn pone, or corn bread batter, which is a staple of people native to the Appalachian Mountains.
The corn pudding originally made by Native Americans used fresh kernels, water and the starch left over from the cob. The starch helped thicken the dish as it cooked, forming a sort of jelly. European settlers elaborated on the dish, adding milk, eggs, cream and butter, which made it more like an English-style savory pudding.