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Recipes All

The Secret of...CORN

 

Corn (English)
Mukka (Hindi)
Cholam (Tamil)

Number 1 Grain:

Corn is believed to have developed more than 7,000 years ago in Central America or Mexico.

The Red Indians greeted Columbus with corn when he touched the shore of what is now Cuba on Nov. 4, 1492.

Originally corn was grain corn; now it's used for cattle feed and a variety of industrial applications. Sweet corn, as such, is a relatively recent development.

India is the top corn grower in Asia. It got its name, corn, from the Europeans, who called any grain corn.

How it is Grown?

Corn is a member of the grass family of plants. The corn plant has a pithy node stalk supported by prop roots.

The staminate (male) flowers form the tassel at the top of the plant. The pistillate (female) flowers are the kernels on the cob, which is enclosed by a leafy husk beyond which extend threadlike styles and stigmas (the silk), which catch the pollen. Pollination of corn is done by wind.

Varieties are generally classified by seed color, maturity date, or nature of sweetness. There are many varieties of sweet corn, some yellow, some bi-color and some white.

Interesting Facts:

It's the fact that the sugar in corn begins to turn to starch the instant it is cut from the stalk. Newer varieties of sugar-enhanced corn have given corn lovers a little more time between pot and field, but the best corn is still the freshest. Refrigeration helps the corn retain its sugar and vitamin C content.

Only about 10 percent of the total corn crop is the sweet corn people prize and love. The rest is field corn used for animal feed and thousands of food and other products ranging from latex paint and toothpaste to core binders for the molding of iron, steel and aluminum.

Some farmers claim you can actually hear corn growing on hot nights and many confirm, "It's true. You can hear it crackle!"

Corn is the largest crop in the United States, both in terms of acres planted and the value of the crop produced. Corn is the most widely distributed crop in the world.

Goodness:

Carbohydrate:

Fresh sweet corn is a terrific source of complex carbohydrate and provides some protein.

Vitamins:

Corn is good source of folate and contains fiber, vitamin A (yellow varieties), Vitamin C, niacin and thiamine.

Minerals:

An average ear of corn has 83 calories. Fresh sweet corn also provides moderate levels of protein, magnesium and potassium.

Antioxidants:

Yellow varieties of sweet corn supply a healthy dose of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which may help prevent some cancer.

Heart Disease:

Sweet corn is a good source of folate, which may prevent birth defects and heart disease.

How can you enjoy?

Corn is everywhere, not just in our corn bread and popcorn.

There's corn oil, corn syrup, corn sweeteners and corn starch.

Grilled corn is a tasty summer treat.

Corn kernels are a great addition when mixed with other vegetables.

Try adding corn to your favorite vegetable soups, in rice to add color, or in tossed salads.

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