Monday, January 7, 2008

Snack a Day 2008, Snack #7: Corn

One of my favorite snacks of all time is an ear of corn, covered in a thin layer of mayonnaise, sprinkled with cheese, covered in picante (salsa) and perfected with lime juice. That is not today's snack. The snack I just described can be found throughout Mexico, but memorably for me, in the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas.

Corn is probably the most important, world changing crop that came from the New World. Its importance and dominance continue in a few troubling ways, outlined in the important book The Omnivore's Dilemma, and in the documentary King Corn. Don't worry, I won't bum you out with statistics, stories, and whatnot. I want to talk about today's snack.

Corn vendors are common in the "City of Angels" (Bangkok, not LA) and they sell a couple variations on your ear of corn. Some sell corn mixed with coconut, seen here, while others sell a simpler version, which is what I had today.

My corn was a simple affair. The vendor took an ear of corn and dipped it into a curious liquid.

The leaves are the ubiquitous pandan, used to color and flavor many a Thai snack. The liquid tastes like a salt and sugar mixture. On the corn it takes the place of butter.

Last the vendor put my snack into the required petroleum product and I was on my way. It was a very good ear of corn.

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