Corn has been eaten by humans for thousands of years.
It was cultivated by the Inca, Mayan and Aztec.
Corn is still a very prominent staple in South and Central America.
In North America, the words ‘corn and maize’ describe a cereal grain cultivated for use in stock feed, corn syrup, grain alcohol (for whiskey), corn starch, corn meal, and even for use in gasoline.
There’s many different species of corn.
It’s usually yellow, but there’s also red, white, orange and blue.
There is also an heirloom variety called ‘Glass Gem’, which is made up of vibrant, randomly coloured, translucent kernels that actually look like they are made of glass. They need to be seen to be believed.
However, in my home country of Australia most people would think of the yellow ‘sweet corn’ that we eat fresh from the cob, or as the kernels that can be purchased in cans.
Sweet corn is a variety that is high in sugar. It’s a species that has naturally formed through recessive mutation. In a way, it’s like picking maize immaturely, before the sugars can convert to starch.
Maze is picked after it’s dried out, but sweet corn is harvested while it’s still juicy.
Therefore, sweet corn is eaten as a vegetable soon after picking, because it has a short shelf life.
Make sure you buy the freshest available (preferably with the husk still on).
Corn can be microwaved (husk on) at high power for approximately 3 minutes and then smeared with butter to serve.
Or, it can be barbecues in the husk for a smoky flavour.
Corn and Tomato Salsa
- In a pot of boiling salted water place 6 Roma tomatoes. Leave for 30 seconds and then remove, peel and chop the flesh.
- On a barbeque, grill 4 lightly oiled cobs of corn for approximately 5 minutes or until fully cooked and tender.
- After the corn has cooled, slice off the kernels and mix with the tomato flesh.
- Add 1 finely chopped red onion, 1 finely chopped green capsicum and 1 finely chopped red chilli.
- And finally, add 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh coriander (no seeds) and the juice of 2 limes.
Serve as a dip with corn chips.