The term maize derives from the Spanish form of the indigenous Taino word maiz for the plant. This was the term used in the United Kingdom and Ireland, where it is now usually called "sweet corn", the most common form of the plant known to people there. Outside the British Isles, another common term for maize is "corn and the maize kernels are also referred to as corn kernels. The kernel of maize has a pericarp of the fruit fused with the seed coat and the entire kernel is often referred to as the seed. The maize kernels are about the size of peas, and adhere in regular rows round a white pithy substance, which forms the ear. An ear contains from 200 to 400 kernels, and is from 10–25 centimeters (4–10 inches) in length. Although we often associate corn with the color yellow, it actually comes in host of different varieties featuring an array of different colors, such as red, pink, black, and blue .While the fresh Sweet corn is distinguished by its high sugar content and sweet flavor; the dried corn kernels has a very different flavor from fresh, canned or frozen kernels. In early times, the corn was dried on trays in the sun or on wood-burning stoves. However, nowadays the corn is toasted commercially, which caramelizes its natural sugars and gives it a nutty flavor. You can expect the corn to shrink up to as much as half its original bulk during the drying process.
White maize kernels
The maize kernels can be white in color and available in many hybrid qualities such as pearl white, platinum lady and silver queen.Nutritional information for white sweet corn is very similar to yellow sweet corn, however white sweet corn has much less lutein and vitamin A.
Yellow maize kernels
The yellow maize kernels are readily available across the stores and impart a bright hue to any recipe of yours. The kernels are pale yellow in color and have a delicate flavour.
How to select
The dried maize or corn kernesl should be clean, bold and free from any debris or spoilage. The kernels of the dried maize oe corn should have a crispy, tough-skinned texture and contain low amounts of the water or moisture. Check carefully to make sure that the kernels do not become too shrivelled up and doughy.
• Some recipes require soaking the dried corn kernels for at least an hour and then using them in salads or vegetable dishes.
• A few popular recipe that include dried maize kernels are corn chowder, baked corn casserole, stewed corn and creamed corn.
• In Latin America, dried corn kernels are traditionally eaten with beans as together sweet corn and beans form a balanced diet.
• The kernels can be boiled or steamed. In Europe, China, Korea, and Japan, they are often used as a pizza topping, or in salads
• Dried maize kernels can be made into soups or corn pudding and can even be grilled.
• Cover and cook the corn in water slowly until the kernels are tender (50 to 60 minutes). Correct seasonings if desired. Add butter. Serve in sauce dishes, broth and if you like, may add two tablespoons milk before serving.
• Add corn kernels and diced tomatoes to guacamole to give it extra zing.
How to store
While fresh sweet corn stores poorly and must be eaten fresh, canned, or frozen before the kernels become tough and starchy, the dried kernels can be stored in air tight containers and used for weeks. Coffee cans, canning jars and even plastic bags will serve as well whatever fits your storage capacity.
• Cooked dried sweet corn has significant antioxidant activity, which has been suggested to reduce the chance of heart disease and cancer, although this has not been definitively proven in practice.
• Cooked dried corn also releases increased levels of ferulic acid, which provides health benefits, such as battling cancer.
• The food ranking system qualified dried corn as a good source of many nutrients including thiamin (vitamin B1), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), folate, dietary fiber, phosphorus and manganese
• Corn's contribution to heart health lies not just in its fiber, but in the significant amounts of folate that corn supplies.