Corn, also known as maize
Corn belongs to the family Poaceae, or grass family. Unlike most fruits and vegetables, corn can cross-pollinate within the current growing season.
What does that mean? It causes the production of ears with mixed and often colorful kernels!
Indigenous Mexicans and Americans relied for thousands of years on the The Three Sisters planting method while cultivating crops of corn, and often processed it with hardwood ash and lime. This technique, called nixtamalization, increases the bioavailability of protein, vitamin B, and niacin within the corn.
Today corn is one of the most highly consumed foods in the world. Unfortunately it largely exists in genetically modified varieties and is heavily processed into corn starch, high fructose corn syrup, and animal feed.
Corn is believed to have been domesticated by the indigenous people of southern Mexico over 10,000 years ago. Once domesticated, corn spread rapidly across the Americas as a truly nutritional food source. It was revered for its versatility and ability to be stored for long periods of time, and seed was easily saved for migration and future crops.
It’s so versatile! We can’t resist an ear of homegrown, organic corn – it’s instantly summertime upon biting into a juicy, sweet cob. Corn can be dried, the kernels plucked from their ears, and stored for many months.
Ground into masa, it also makes hearty, delicious tortillas. Below you’ll find recipes that highlight the many flavors of our favorite summertime harvest! And don’t forget about popped corn…