Benefits and properties of corn
Corn is one of the most important cereals in the world, its production volume ranks ahead of other cereals such as rice and wheat. This important cereal feeds many people around the world, supplying significant amounts of nutrients, especially carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals. The inhabitants of the pre-Hispanic Caribbean were right to call it “that which sustains Life”.
Corn (Zea Mays) is a cereal that comes from the annual grass plant native to the Americas. It is known for its tall, massive stalks and its end of ears or cobs (seeds or kernels of corn along its axis).
During its propagation in the American continent it acquired several names such as: choclo, jojoto, milho, elote and maize.
An extremely popular food in the world, especially in Latin America, it is usually ground and made into flour to prepare different dishes.
Corn is a dish that can be enjoyed in different ways: directly from the cob, flour, pasta, canned corn, bread, among others.
What is corn and what is its origin?
It is one of the oldest cereals known, it is a domesticated and productive plant that does not grow in the wild, so it is completely cared for by man. It is considered that corn was cultivated approximately 10 thousand years B.C. At the beginning of the XVI century it spread throughout the Iberian Peninsula, Europe, North Africa and Asia.
Corn is the third most cultivated food in the world, after rice and wheat. It is becoming more and more popular, due to the variety of recipes we can make.
There are different variations of corn, the best known are: sweet corn, which is consumed raw, fresh or canned, popular in gastronomy for its high sugar content; crystalline corn contains starch that makes it softer for the production of flour and semolina; popcorn are regular grains, used for the production of popcorn; hard corn are extremely hard grains used for the production of cornstarch; red corn is used for making tamales.
Corn is a food that contains mainly vitamins A, B7 and E, minerals (magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and zinc) and antioxidants, which favor the metabolism of the human body. The WHO recommends its consumption.
Benefits and Properties of corn
It contains an important percentage of fiber, which helps prevent digestive diseases. It contains antioxidants which act as agents that help prevent cellular aging, it also has vitamin B1 that helps reduce the risk of suffering a cardiovascular attack and vitamin A, which is essential for eyesight and skin freshness.
It is advisable to include it in the diets of pregnant women for all the benefits it provides. By consuming a cup of corn, you are providing the body with 9% protein, which is the daily recommended amount.
There are different processes for preparing corn kernels to produce a variety of flours. The corn kernels extracted from their cobs must go through the process of drying and grinding the kernels, in order to obtain a fine flour, different from starch. If we add cooking to the process, we will obtain precooked corn meal, known as P.A.N. flour, since it is the main brand that is commercialized in the market.
Precooked corn meal can be used to elaborate a variety of dishes, such as:
- Arepas or Tostadas: The preferred in the diet of Venezuelans and Colombians, it consists of round corn flour balls, roasted or fried and can be filled to your liking.
- Polenta: A European dish, made with boiled corn flour, it consists of a thick dough base, accompanied by sauces or other ingredients.
- Cachapas: A typical dish from Colombia, Venezuela and Costa Rica, it consists of a roasted corn flour pancake accompanied by hand cheese, but you can add the cheese of your preference.
USE OF CORN IN VENEZUELAN CUISINE
Corn is the most important crop in the vegetable agricultural sector in Venezuela and has been considered a strategic crop, given its importance in the daily diet of Venezuelans. It is the cereal par excellence of Venezuelans, both sweet and salty, occupies an important place in the table of each one of them.
Venezuelan gastronomy comes from a cultural mix, influenced by its European and African colonizers with the unique taste of its indigenous population. Therefore, we can speak of a Mediterranean-based cuisine that has been evolving.
Undoubtedly, the arepa has become the staple food for Venezuelans, consumed daily and often substituted for bread when they sit at the table for lunch or dinner. Consuming corn is one of the easiest things you can do, plus all dishes or almost all dishes containing corn are delicious with a sweet-salty taste. From breakfasts, snacks, lunches and dinners. Corn is the protagonist of many Venezuelan dishes such as arepa, cachapa and empanadas.
A great part of this cereal is industrially processed to obtain a flour with which arepas, hallacas, cachapas, bollitos and other typical Venezuelan dishes that are part of its food culture are made. You can get P.A.N. precooked white corn meal in our All of P.A.N. online store.
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