Knowledge Bank – Corn

Corn

This is crushed corn/maize specifically called Oblayo in Ghana. Corn is scientifically known as Zea Mays reflecting the traditional name maize as known in some countries such as Ghana. Some local names are ‘Ebro’ in Akan, ‘Abele’ in Ga, ‘Ebli’ in Ewe. Other African local names are ‘Umngqusho’ in Xhosa(South African) and ‘Agbado’ in Yoruba (Nigerian).

Corn comes in different types and colours such as white, yellow, pink, purple, red, blue and black. Each type and colour has its unique nutritional properties. Corn provides the necessary calories needed for a healthy daily metabolism. It’s rich in vitamins A, B, E and minerals. It contains a high fiber content which helps to prevent digestive ailments like constipation and hemorrhoids as well as colorectal cancer. Corn is also a good source of antioxidants which act as anti-carcinogenic agent which helps to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. It also controls diabetes & hypertension, improves bone strength, boots immune system and prevents anemia.
Apparently, the nutritional properties of corn come alive when cooked. This is great to know as we love our corn cooked in so many ways.

We enjoy it just boiled or steamed or roasted with or without extra garnishes. Corn is widely processed into cereals cornmeal and flour. In Ghana it’s processed into a fermented dough popularly used for making banku, Kenkey or koko (porridge). We cook the crushed corn into porridge called ‘eko egbemi’ or ‘Oblayo’ what’s known as grits and rocks respectively in America and I think southern African countries also enjoy this form. We roast it and grind into flour called Tombrown used in apapransa. Oh boy the variety is just so many. Where will we be without corn? Understanding how nutritious it is makes it even more wonderful to consume. So enjoy your boiled corn as it’s in season with no regrets.

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