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It’s Corny, But It’s REALLY Yummy

Gudlyf, flickr

I’m feeling corny today.  There IS  a reason though.  Today is “Corn on the cob Day” and I don’t know about you but I’m game for any excuse to enjoy corn on the cob.   It’s simply delicious.  You wouldn’t believe how much there is to know about corn!  I discovered some very interesting facts about corn on Foodreference.com:

Corn always has an even number of rows on each ear. A corn ear is actually an inflorescence that produces nearly 1,000 female flowers. These flowers, or potential kernels, are arranged in an even number of rows (usually from 8 to about 22 rows). Row number is always an even number because corn spikelets are borne in pairs, and each spikelet produces two florets: one fertile and one sterile. Stress at a particular stage in development could theoretically produce an ear with an odd number of rows – but I believe if you looked under a microscope, you would find an unseen row that failed to develop fully.

Most things in nature have an even number of rows or lines. Watermelon has an even number of stripes, cantaloupe, etc. Think of it this way. One cell divides into 2 – as cell division continues, there is always an even number.

The average ear of corn has 800 kernels, arranged in 16 rows.

There is one piece of silk for each kernel.

Each tassel on a corn plant releases as many as 5 million grains of pollen.

Corn is an ingredient in more than 3,000 grocery products.

One bushel of corn can make 33 pounds of sweetener, 32 pounds of starch, or 2 1/2 gallons of ethanol fuel.

New evidence has been found for the earliest domestication corn in Mexico about 8,700 years ago (6,700 BC). Domesticated maize (corn) had reached Panama by 5,600 BC and northern South America by 4,000 BC.

Current World Archaeology (#35, 2009)

Corn is used in the production of alcohol, and distilled spirits, corn syrup, sugar, cornstarch, synthetic fibers such as nylon, certain plastics, in the manufacture of wood resin, lubricating oils and synthetic rubber, as an abrasive, corn cob pipes, corn oil, margarine, saccharin, paints, soaps, linoleum and gasohol.

Fresh corn on the cob will lose up to 40% of its sugar content after 6 hours of room temperature storage. The sugar is converted to starch.

Corn is the third most important food crop of the world measured by production volume, behind wheat and rice. In terms of acreage planted, it is second only to wheat.

Corn Belt – The area of the United States where corn is a principal cash crop, including Iowa, Indiana, most of Illinois, and parts of Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

The world record for eating corn on the cob is 33 1/2 ears in 12 minutes, held by Cookie Jarvis.  Yikes!  Pepto please!

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