Corn is the third-most cultivated crop in the world, following wheat and rice. Originating in the Americas—but grown on every continent except Antarctica—over 440 million tons of corn are harvested yearly throughout the world. In 2019, US farmers planted 91.7 million acres of corn—the equivalent of 69 million football fields.
There are six main varieties of corn that come in different shades and combinations of white, yellow, red, blue, purple/black, and green. An ear of corn has about 800 kernels in 16 rows, always an even number with one silk strand for every kernel. A good ear of corn is juicy and sweet on its own, but can also be used in soups, chili, salsas, salads, breads, and crusts.
DID YOU KNOW? One variety of corn grown in Peru has kernels so large that they are eaten individually.
Eighteen nations of the world consume corn as their primary food source—twelve in Latin America and six in Africa. In the United States, corn is used in the production of so many foods that the number of products without at least a trace amount of corn is smaller than the number of those that contain corn.
Sources: factretriever.com/corn-facts; mydadssweetcorn.com/blog/corn-facts
Recipe – Polenta Pizza
2½ cups water
½ cup almond milk
1 cup cornmeal
1 tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. dried thyme, or to taste
¼ tsp. dried oregano, or to taste
¼ tsp. dried basil, or to taste
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 cups tomatoes, chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp. lemon juice, or to taste
½ tsp. salt
Topping suggestions: sliced cherry tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, olives
Bring water and almond milk to a boil in a pot. Reduce heat to low. Add cornmeal and whisk until clumps are reduced and mixture thickens. Add salt and herbs. Continue to whisk for another 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat. Brush a baking sheet with oil and pour half the corn mixture on one side forming a ½-inch thick circle. Pour the remaining mixture on the other side of the sheet, making two pizzas. Cover the sheet and refrigerate until mixture thickens, about 30 minutes. Combine tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and a drizzle of olive oil in a blender; blend to combine. Adjust seasonings. Remove crusts from refrigerator, top with tomato sauce and toppings of choice. Pop pizzas in the oven; bake at 375°F for 15 minutes or until crust is crispy.