Corn

Corn
This is the only grain that's commonly eaten as a fresh vegetable. Native to the Americas, corn is a great source of vitamin A, fiber, and other nutrients. When corn comes into season during the summer, it's common to see people in supermarkets peeling back husks in search of ears with perfect rows of kernels. Don't do that yourself. Crooked rows taste just as good as straight, and keeping the husk on helps the corn stay sweet. Freshness is a better criterion, since the sugars in corn begin converting into starch the moment it's picked. The best test is to sample some kernels. Frozen corn kernels are a good substitute when fresh corn is out of season, but canned corn is only a fair substitute.
baby corn, Chinese baby corn, corn, baby
baby corn
These are tiny ears of corn that are eaten cob and all. Asian cooks like to add them to stir-fried dishes, and they often show up in salad bars. It's hard to find them fresh, but many markets sell them in cans or jars.
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corn, maize, sweet corn
corn
This is the only grain that's commonly eaten as a fresh vegetable. Native to the Americas, corn is a great source of vitamin A, fiber, and other nutrients. When corn comes into season during the summer, it's common to see people in supermarkets peeling back husks in search of ears with perfect rows of kernels. Don't do that yourself. Crooked rows taste just as good as straight, and keeping the husk on helps the corn stay sweet. Freshness is a better criterion, since the sugars in corn begin converting into starch the moment it's picked. The best test is to sample some kernels. Frozen corn kernels are a good substitute when fresh corn is out of season, but canned corn is only a fair substitute.
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hominy, posole, pozole
hominy
These are hulled corn kernels that have been stripped of their bran and germ. Southern cooks usually boil whole or ground hominy until it's tender, and then they serve it in much the same way that Northern cooks would serve potatoes. Varieties include lye hominy, which is made by soaking corn kernels in a weak lye bath, and pearl hominy, which is made by crushing corn kernels mechanically. White hominy is made from white corn kernels, and the sweeter yellow hominy is made from yellow. Samp is coarsely ground or broken hominy, while hominy grits are more finely ground. You can buy hominy canned or dried.
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hominy grits, corn grits, grits
hominy grits
This Southern staple is made from hominy or plain corn that's been ground until it has the consistency of coarse sand. It's used as a side dish, a breakfast cereal, or as an ingredient in baked goods. Varieties include quick-cooking grits and instant grits.
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nixtamal, uncooked posole
nixtamal
This is made with dried corn that's been simmered in a solution of lime and water. This loosens the hulls from the corn kernels and makes the kernels softer and more nutritious. Mexican cooks grind nixtamal into masa, which they use to make tortillas.
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popcorn
popcorn
Air-popped popcorn is a terrific snack that's high in fiber and low in fat -- assuming that you don't add lots of butter and salt.
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purple corn, maiz morado
purple corn
Peruvians use this to make beautiful purple drinks and puddings
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white corn, maiz blanco
white corn
Peruvians make popcorn and corn nuts out of this.
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