Corn, her children and all her grandchildren

In my family, legend has it that all my mother ate when she was pregnant with me was corn. That explains my fierce love for corn in all its forms and all the other things that can be derived from it.


Versatility is a quality I admire, even more so in food and corn hits a solid 90 on the scale of varied foods. From cornflakes to popcorn, to our locally made snack called Kokoro, this is an ode to corn in all her glory or Zea Mays according to binomial nomenclature (Yes, I was a biology nerd in secondary school).

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Like most grains, corn is healthy; packed with vitamins, nutrients and fibre and antioxidants.

Corn can be prepared and enjoyed in many ways and a personal favourite is by roasting. The flavour of roasted corn has a distinct earthiness to it, which is quite different from its taste when it is boiled

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Next, Popcorn. Popcorn is made from a particular variety of corn known as Zea Mays Everta; the only variety whose kernels has the ability to pop. it is made when the kernels are exposed to heat, which causes them to expand and pop into a delicious snack. It tastes much much better with butter, sugar or salt (shaking my head at anyone who eats popcorn with salt) but popcorn is apparently healthier when air-popped and unenhanced with sugar or/butter, but where’s the fun in that?

Another gem that corn has provided for us is a breakfast special in many Nigerian homes is pap. Pap has the consistency of custard and can be eaten much the same way - with milk, sugar or honey, like any other breakfast cereal. The process of making pap is a long, arduous one that includes soaking the corn kernels, leaving them to ferment, grinding them at a mill and sieving. It’s stressful

Ed Note: Folly has tried to make pap before, failed woefully.

Eko is a variation of pap, but it is usually made with white corn and is traditionally wrapped in leaves and eaten cold, unlike pap which is prepared with hot water.

Cornflakes is another offspring of corn was originally created by John Harvey Kellogg in 1894. As the name implies, kernels of corn are toasted to create this delightful (but honestly, boring) breakfast cereal.

Finally, one of my favourites snacks ever (outside of corn itself) is kokoro, a locally made crunchy snack made from frying corn flour.

I could go on and on, but corn  is undefeated and that is facts!