The botanical name of Sweet corn is Zea mays rugosa and it is popularly known by many names as Indian corn, sweet corn, sugar corn, pole corn or even just corn. It is a variety of maize with high sugar content. While maize is harvested when the kernels are dry and mature, to be used as a grain, the sweet corn is picked when immature and full of milk to be used as a vegetable. As the sweet corn is stored, the milk in it slowly gets converted into starch and it becomes tough. Sweet corn is therefore best had fresh.
Sweet corn is believed to have originated in Peru and Mexico where the human population gradually domesticated it for use. From her it spread across the world while improving on its varieties.
It contains:- magnesium, potassium, iron, folate, niacin,(vitamin B3), thiamine (vitamin B1), vitamin A, proteins, carbohydrates and fats. These contents make the sweet corn beneficial to the organs of the body and help to build up strong bones and teeth. It also provides for good eyesight.
Sweet corn in the culinary world:
- Sweet corn is mainly boiled steamed or grilled.
- In Latin America it is traditionally eaten with beans.
- In Indonesia it is ground or soaked with milk.
- Pizza toppings with this an as ingredient is more popular in Europe, China, Korea and Japan.
- In India it is grilled and eaten directly off the cob after rubbing it with salt, chilli and a dash of lime. Also, sweet corn served in milk or cream sauce, is creamed corn.
- The tiny corn cobs known as baby corn, finds its way into many a soups and dishes.
- In European cuisine, pole corn puddings are also prepared. These puddings are either boiled or baked and served as a dish or dessert. Some different versions of pudding are known as -The Italian polenta, the Romanian mamaliga, the Balkan pura, while the fastest one is the American Indian pudding.
- Pole corn puddings are found in many areas of the world; in European cuisine, they typically descend from older pulse porridges.