Corn sellers can be seen on the roadside in every city and town these days. The business also seems to be good. A boiled corn can be bought for Rs. 20 and a raw one costs 10 or 15 rupees. It is unfortunate that like in any trade, some corn sellers cheat the unsuspecting customers with either overly ripe corns or two-three days old corns for the same price.
Before a decade or two ago, mostly village people ate boiled corn and very few city people bought them from the roadside sellers. But nowadays both city and village folks eat it alike and corns can be even seen in super markets in Colombo. It is encouraging to see more and more corn sellers among the large number of imported fruit sellers on the roadside. Earlier, corn was a seasonal crop and was only seen in December, January but now corn is grown throughout the year, mostly in rice fields than in chenas.
In the Dry Zone where the rain is scarce people used to grow corn during Maha season and the produce was mostly eaten either boiled or roasted. Dried corn was kept for use as cereal during the off season over the hearths of the kitchens. During the Maha season children could be seen with a boiled or roasted corn everywhere. This is the only season the people in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka had ample food to eat and corn was the king among the other crops. Both young and old equally liked it. Younger people were kind enough to grind boiled corn seeds and offer it with pepper to the old who had no teeth. It was a delicacy. Corn is best eaten with soaked in salt water and with some pepper even today.
Corn is also called Indian corn and maize as well.
“The term “maize” derives from the Spanish form of the indigenous Taíno word maiz for the plant. This was the term used in the United Kingdom and Ireland, where it is now usually called “sweet corn”, the most common form of the plant known to people there. Sweet corn is harvested earlier and eaten as a vegetable rather than a grain.
Outside the British Isles, another common term for maize is “corn”. This was originally the English term for any cereal crop. In North America, its meaning has been restricted since the 19th century to maize, as it was shortened from “Indian corn”. The term Indian corn now refers specifically to multi-colored “field corn” (flint corn) cultivars.
In scientific and formal usage, “maize” is normally used in a global context. Equally, in bulk-trading contexts, “corn” is used most frequently. In the UK, Australia and other English-speaking countries, the word “corn” is often used in culinary contexts, particularly in naming products such as popcorn, corn flakes and baby corn. “Maize” is used in agricultural and scientific references.[Note 1]