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Maize

Name Variations Edit

Corncob1
  • sweet corn
  • maize

About corn Edit

Because of its high protein and carbohydrate content, corn has been an important nutritional resource for thousands of years. Corn can be traced back to Mexican or Central American cultures as early as 3400 B.C., and has become a staple among Native American civilizations throughout the Western Hemisphere. Today, corn has less starch and is sweeter. The sweetness accounts for its popularity among Americans.

Maize (Zea mays ssp. mays) is a cereal grain that was domesticated in Mesoamerica. It is called corn in the United States, Canada, and Australia, but in other countries that term may refer to other cereal grains. It is called mealies in southern Africa. Hybrid maize is favored by farmers over conventional varieties for its high grain yield, due to heterosis ("hybrid vigor"). Maize is one of the first crops for which genetically modified varieties make up a significant proportion of the total harvest.

While some maize varieties grow 7 m (23 ft) tall at certain locations, commercial maize has been bred for a height of 2.5 m (9 ft). Sweetcorn is usually shorter than field-corn varieties.

The husks are also used as food wrappers in cooking, though they are not eaten.

Varieties Edit

There are more than two hundred varieties of corn. All are good sources of vitamin C.

Selection Edit

Make sure the husks are green, tight and fresh looking. Pull the husk open to make sure that the ear contains tightly packed rows of plump kernels. The kernels should be smaller at the tip of each ear. Large kernels at the tip is a sign of overmaturity. If you pinch a kernel, milky juice should spurt out. Corn should be stored in a cool area. Warmth causes the sugar content of corn to be converted into starch. This process will cause the ears to become less sweet.

Storage Edit

If the corn is not cooked shortly after it is purchased, then it should be stored in refrigerator. Refrigeration helps the corn retain its sugar and vitamin C content. If you buy unhusked corn, keep it in its husk until you are ready to cook it. This will help the corn retain its moisture content. To fully enjoy the great taste of sweet corn, cook it as soon as possible. The sooner the better is a good "rule of thumb."

Frozen and canned corn Edit

Americans consume about 25 pounds of corn per person annually, most of which is frozen or canned. A good thing about corn is that frozen and canned corn has about the same nutritional value as fresh corn. So, for the many Americans who are not able to get fresh corn, they can still enjoy frozen or canned for nearly the same nutritional value as fresh corn.

Canned Corn is whole-kernel corn, with water. Sugar and salt may be added. Corn is an good source of folate and Vitamin C.

Storage Edit

  • Unopened Cans – Store unopened cans in a cool, dry place off the floor. Avoid freezing or exposure to direct sunlight. Sudden changes in temperature shorten shelf life and speed deterioration.
  • Opened Cans – Store opened corn in a tightly covered nonmetallic container and refrigerate. Use within 2 to 4 days.

Uses Edit

Serve canned corn heated or use in soups, stews, chowders, stuffing, relishes, fritters, and main dishes.

Preparation Edit

  • Heat only to serving temperature and serve soon after heating. Do not allow to boil.
  • Combine corn with lima beans to make succotash.
  • Add variety to corn by mixing with one or more vegetables such as tomatoes, green peppers, or onions.
  • Add flavor to canned corn with seasonings such as celery, onion or garlic powder, chili powder, chili sauce, paprika, nutmeg, marjoram, thyme, dried sage, instant onion, or black pepper.

Product Description Canned Corn is whole-kernel corn, with water. Sugar and salt may be added.

  • Well-drained corn may be added to cornbread batter.

Corn Recipes Edit

Sources Edit

  • Vegetable of the Month: Corn by the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, public domain government resource—original source of recipe
  • Corn, Whole Kernel, Canned by the US Department of Agriculture, public domain government resource—original source of article

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