Corn is an ancient ingredient first produced in Mexico by the Aztecs. Corn is the base for many classic Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes. It can be eaten a number of ways, including being ground into meal for breads, tortillas and tamales or even used as a thickener for soups and drinks, like atole.
Mexican corn, or maize, is a treasured ingredient in Mexican food culture. In fact, corn grew wild in Mexico for over 12,000 years until it was finally domesticated by indigenous Mexicans around 5,000 years ago.
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Ancient corn looked much different than it does today. The original plant, called teosinte, was much smaller and produced fewer kernels, making it much more difficult to harvest. Through centuries of Mexican ingenuity, corn developed into the plump, juicy kernels we know and love today.
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When my husband was young, he lived next to a corn field on a ranch in Driscoll, Texas. Every year, the stalks would grow tall and he would watch his father harvest them on his tractor.
The rancho had a store where they sold all kinds of delicious foods and ingredients made from corn. It was an experience that still lives with him and to this day, he prefers corn harvested in Texas and will go out of his way to support his local growers.
Every year on the 4th of July, we get a little extra nostalgic, just after harvesting season. My husband loves to have plenty of corn dishes on the table. And one of his favorites is my roasted corn and mango salad. It’s a family favorite.
The plump, golden kernels are roasted until they are soft, sweet and brimming with flavor. Then I chop fresh, juicy mango and mix it all together for a delicious and refreshing summer salad. I add some serrano chiles to this recipe for an extra kick of flavor that my husband just loves.
It’s grilling season in Texas and there is nothing better than the intense contrast of smoky, golden corn kernels, vibrant mango chunks and crumbly queso fresco. This bright mix of flavors is perfect served up as a salad, salsa or side dish. Enjoy!
Vianney Rodriguez is an award-winning food blogger, recipe developer, and the author of Latin Twist, a collection of delicious Latin-inspired cocktails. On Sweet Life, I share my passion for good food and experiences and memories celebrated with family, through travel, entertaining, and soul-satisfying meals. Every post on Sweet Life is filled with the vibrant culture and food of South Texas. As a proud Tejana, I invite you to join me on this journey and to experience all the rich culture that Texas has to offer