Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Maize an Amazing History
The first Thanksgiving in 1621 corn was there. It was one of the new found foods in the Americas.
Europeans didn't know corn existed until Columbus discovered America and brought it back. It's believed corn was developed 7000 years ago in Central Mexico and Central America. Corn is a crop that has to be cultivated, it doesn't grow in the wild. The first Native Americans learned how to propagate corn from a wild grass called teosinte. They cultivated the grass and soon had the small 3 inch cobs with sparse kernels slowly becoming the corn we know today.
The crop was transferred by seed from Central America to North America and down into Peru by the wandering tribes.
The corn was used fresh and dried. What we call hominy today was first cooked thousands of years ago. The dried corn was ground into a meal and used for bread, puddings, and syrup. the corn husks were sued for weaving mats, hats, baskets, shoes, and ceremonial masks. The corn cobs were used for fuel, darts in games, and tied to sticks for rattles in ceremonies.