By Genevieve Aningo
The Holy Book didn’t tell us a lie when it emphasized that there is season for everything. God makes everything beautiful in its time. Indeed, around June to August God has ordained corn to be in season in Nigeria. If you currently reside in Nigeria you can testify that corn stands are more spotted than any other street treat. The local market offers you many options of these corn stands and our inner residential street has that woman whom we have branded her corn to taste superb.
When food items are in abundance due to its seasons, it makes me more appreciative of nature; trusting that no matter what is nature always wins. I can recall when it was the mango season, it seemed like mangoes were the only fruits on earth but now to spot mangoes would be a miracle. Nature never fails.
I confess that I have been indulging myself with corn not less than three times a week. The sight and scent of corn sampled on the column and row iron flat surface placed on a round big aluminum ware by vendors is inviting and irresistible. Don’t blame me, blame its presence and cheap price. I know two markets where the food vendors create a chain or coven of corn sellers; boiled and roasted. I have identified a favourite corn hub on my way from work. It is visited by different calibers of customers especially the hefty potbellied men spending up to three thousand naira in buying roast corn with its accompaniments; roast pear and shelled coconut. When I use the yellow buses and I sight other commuters biting into the soft or crispy yellow pebbles despite the discomforting tattered seats and a conductor who has no interest in ensuring your safety but has his hearts pledged in getting your fare bill, I feel a sense of harmony; for that instant corn family birthed in the bus.
As for me I relish the roast corn than boiled corn. Yes, the roast corn it’s the variant that explodes my taste buds; the boiled variant can pass by but most times it doesn’t set me on fire as roast corn.
In this season of corn fruitfulness, I have invested my single mite in many corn vendors than any other edible consumable spot. It’s delightful that we have a healthy option to quench that temporal hunger pangs than visiting the kiosks to purchase sealed beef rolls, biscuits and other sealed snacks. Those ready cheap sealed consumables’ barely dismiss my hunger as corn does for me. Especially when I gulp a bottle of water after getting rid of the kernels off the corn cob with my sharp dentals. The fruits and vegetable season is one which I always look forward from the second quarter of the year to its last. We usually witness an avalanche of fresh groundnut, cucumber, pear, garden eggs, egg plants, water melon and other common vegetables during the mid-year. It’s wise to saturate your system with the goodness yields of this season than to play blind eyes.
Also, the health industry encourages us to feed more on plant than animal and processed and the corn has been helping. A wholesome snack made with fire or water and salt if you’re boiling it. How simple nature gives but more. Think about the plethora of corn benefits starting from fortifying our bodies with essential minerals as zinc, magnesium, copper, iron and manganese. Likewise, corn aids digestion because it is filled with fiber and vital vitamin B; all needed for our total health. The starchy vegetable is rich in Vitamin C, an antioxidant that wards off diseases like cancer and heart diseases. Particularly, yellow corn is a good source of carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which enhances great eye health by preventing lens damage that leads to cataracts. Corn can be transformed into pap and flour used in pastries and baking as great alternate to wheat flour. Food production industries refine corn into various instant cereals as Golden Morn, Cornflakes, and children’s cereals. Popcorn is a wise snack to grab when craving for corn beyond its basic form. The rule in consuming the cylindrical vegetable is to keep it in moderation.
Even the stifling Nigeria currency didn’t affect corn prices; a decent corn size can be bought as low as one hundred naira; yet nourishing and satisfying. Please, let’s magnify the Lord for his goodness to man. It’s super affordable especially in this fading month of July. It is one nature’s snack you can easily grab without pinching your purse. A lesson from this corn season is to always feast on food items when it’s in abundance; it’s beautiful to your pocket and even health. I recall when corn just sprang up in early June, a lean roast cost two hundred naira but recently I can buy two huge stalk for two hundred naira or one hundred and fifty when my bargaining skill is on top notch. So, make hay while the sun shines. The sun is shining in corn land and we must buy. Nothing is permanent except God and his words, because these corns we see lithered in every streets and barbecue stand would in a time fade away like it never existed.
I am observing that garden eggs are beginning to rear their heads up in the local market vendor spots. Well, the green fiber pumped balls is one of my favourite vegetables too and I must make hay while the sun shines in its land.