What Makes A Corn Pop?
The children feel most amazed at the ability of even to ‘Pop’. It is a simple affair. Popcorn kernels are small and very hard. On heating, the moisture within the hard shells ‘turns to steam and thus explodes.
This is how the wonder of corn begins. It is a very remarkable plant known to man. A rough idea of using the corn products is here explained – cornstarch is used on stamps and envelopes, corn oil is used in cooking food, and also in making paints, rubber substitutes, and soap. Alcohol is made from corn; smokeless powder and gun cotton and also paper are the products of corn. Corn cob can be used in the making of ink and cloth.
This amazing corn plant belongs to the gross family. It grows in six general types: dent corn is distinguished when dried because the upper part of the kernel becomes indented. The flint corn has hard Kernels, long and slender ears. The soft corn is grown in the Southern United States and has very soft kernels. Sweet corn is used in canning or eating directly from the cob. Popcorn is the one type that explodes on heating and pod corn has each kernel enclosed in its own tiny husk.
Basically, the word “corn” meant a small, hard particle of something. It is generally referred to as the hard seed of a plant. In Europe, the word “Corn” is still applied to different grains. In Scotland, it means oats, in northern Europe rye, and in other countries wheat and barley. Europeans call “our corn” maize, which was its original Indian name.
Three-fourth of the world’s corn production is grown in the United States. In fact, if we load our annual crop into wagons of common size, a procession of them would encircle the world about six times. It is by far America’s most common crop.
Today, of course, its cultivation is carried on along scientific lines and the development of new and better types of corn is going on regularly. Yet even before Columbus discovered America, the Indians were cultivating corn with their simple methods and it was the main crop, a food source for many of the tribe.