The History of Corn is amazing

Polenta, grits, SAMPE – different words for the same corny goodness. Sampe Fest 2015 is Saturday and Sunday at the Plimoth Grist Mill. Come over and try our cornbread and our Pottage Without Herbs, which is made with sampe and tasty good.

Foodways Pilgrim

Or is it more properly ‘a-maizing’?
Either way, a few pictorial highlights – and a recipe – for a Wicked Wayback Wednesday from a talk I gave on a dark and stormy night for the South Shore Locavores.

corn The audience was all ears!

In a nutshell –

Corn has been around for thousands of years in the America, in Europe not so long. In the 16th century maize was new and fashionable, but since it was easy to grow, and grow well, it became more and more common and less and less fashionable…..case in point – polenta.

Murillo - the Polenta Woman -17th century - notice how she's not fashionable Murillo – the Polenta Woman -17th century – notice how she’s not fashionable

Pietro Longhi - Polenta - notice that it's being pored onto a cloth, from which it will be eaten Pietro Longhi – Polenta – notice that it’s being pored onto a cloth, from which it will be eaten. This is the 18th century when ‘The Poor’ become romanticized. Their romantic  image is fashionable, not the poor actual selves .

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One response to “The History of Corn is amazing

  1. And if people really want to know how important corn is — how truly a-maizing — they might consider reading my book Midwest Maize: How Corn Shaped the U.S. Heartland. Because it is an astonishingly huge story — and one that continues to be huge today — and growing.

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