• Tracy Parks

Sweet Corn

A True Native American....

Corn was grown as far back as 7,000 years ago in Central America.

While it was grown by several tribes, the Iriquois Indians were the first to give sweet corn, or Papoon as they called it, to the European settlers in 1779.

Corn is a cereal crop and is a naturally occurring mutated grass.

Corn was so valuable to the early settlers that it was used as money.

Chew On This! Native Americans were known to chew corn leaves like chewing gum!

Fun Fact:

An average ear of corn has 800 kernels in 16 rows and there is always an even number of rows on each cob.

There is one strand of silk for every kernel on the cob!

So Many Kinds...

There are six major types of corn are dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, popcorn, flour corn, and sweet corn and can come inblackish, bluish-gray, purple, green, red, white and yellow colors.

Dent corn is used for corn flour, corn starch and corn syrup. Flint corn is used as hominy, popcorn and is used as a decoration.

Globe Trotter...

You can find corn growing on every continent in the world except Antarctica. The average corn stalk is 6-12 feet tall, and the roots can go up to 5 1/2 feet below ground.

Health Food

Corn is health food! An average ear of corn has just 86 calories and no cholesterol. Not only that, but it is a good source of vitamin C and A, potassium, thiamine and fiber, and very high in antioxidants.

Selection and Storage

Look for ears of corn that have green, fresh looking husks that are free of damage. Also check the silks-they can be brown at the tips but not moldy, wet or dry. They should be soft and fresh looking. If they are dry the corn was picked a long time ago and won't be sweet and tender. Next, pull back a few of the husks. You shouldn't see any worms or pest damage. Pierce a kernel with your nail and you should see a squirt of juice. This corn will be tender and sweet! Store loosely wrapped in your refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Somalian Coconut Corn

This corn is tender, juicy and delicately flavored. The coconut milk enhances the corn's natural sugars but will not make it taste like coconut. The amount of cayenne is kid-friendly, but if you are sensitive you can leave it out. Add more if you like it spicy. 4 ears of fresh corn on the cob, husks and silk removed 1 15-oz can coconut milk ¼ cup tomato paste ½ tsp onion powder 1 tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp salt Pinch ground black pepper Pinch cayenne pepper 2 TBSP minced cilantro, optional Cut or break ears of corn in half. Set aside. In a large skillet with tall sides or a large pot, combine the coconut milk, tomato sauce, onion powder, turmeric, salt, black pepper and cayenne. Cook over medium heat until the coconut milk has melted. Add the corn in a single layer and cover. Cook 10 minutes undisturbed. Stir, then turn the corn over and cook another 10 minutes. Stir in the cilantro if using. Serve the corn with some of the cooking liquid and lots of napkins. Variation: You can prepare the corn ahead of time and grill to warm it up, brushing with the extra sauce as you cook it. Sprinkle on the cilantro after you finish grilling to keep the cilantro tasting fresh.

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