June 11 of each year is the day to celebrate National Corn on the Cob Day. Fresh corn on the cob is a summertime treat that people from all corners of the United States look forward to as we start the picnic season.
Corn on the cob is also known in different regions as pole corn, cornstick, sweet pole, butter-pop or long maize. It is a sweet corn that is picked when the kernels are still tender when it’s in its milk stage.
Boiling, steaming, roasting or grilling are the most common ways of preparing corn on the cob. If it is grilled or oven roasted, the corn is usually left in its husk during the cooking process.
- Corn is called maize by most countries, this comes from the Spanish word ‘maiz’.
- Corn is a cereal crop that is part of the grass family.
- An ear or cob of corn is actually part of the flower and an individual kernel is a seed.
- On average an ear of corn has 800 kernels in 16 rows.
- Corn will always have an even number of rows on each cob.
- A bushel is a unit of measure for volumes of dry commodities such as shelled corn kernels. 1 Bushel of corn is equal to 8 gallons.
- With the exception of Antarctica, corn is produced on every continent in the world.
- There are over 3,500 different uses for corn products.
- As well as being eaten by the cob, corn is also processed and used as a major component in many food items like cereals, peanut butter, potato chips, soups, marshmallows, ice cream, baby food, cooking oil, margarine, mayonnaise, salad dressing, and chewing gum.
- Juices and soft drinks like Coca-Cola and Pepsi contain corn sweeteners. A bushel of corn can sweeten 400 cans of soft drink.
- Corn and its by products are also found in many non-food items such as fireworks, rust preventatives, glue, paint, dyes, laundry detergent, soap, aspirin, antibiotics, paint, shoe polish, ink, cosmetics, the manufacturing of photographic film, and in the production of plastics.
- In 2014, total world production was 1.04 billion tonnes, led by the United States with 35% of the total. China produced 21% of the global total.
- In the days of the early settlers to North America corn was so valuable that it was used as money and traded for other products such as meat and furs.
- Corn can be produced in various colors including blackish, bluish-gray, purple, green, red, white and the most common yellow.
- Corn was first domesticated by indigenous peoples in southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago.
- Native Americans taught European colonists to grow the indigenous grains, and, since its introduction into Europe by Christopher Columbus and other explorers, corn has spread to all areas of the world suitable to its cultivation.
- The first mechanical corn harvester was developed in 1930 by Gleaner Harvester Combine Corporation of Independence, Missouri.
- Sweet corn leaves were used as chewing gum by Native Americans.