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Aw shucks

Hudson Cooper
Posted 10/29/21

“Aw shucks” is a corny expression that expresses a folksy appreciation of embarrassment. “Aw Shucks” would also be a great name for a fairground’s food stand that …

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Random Thoughts

Aw shucks


“Aw shucks” is a corny expression that expresses a folksy appreciation of embarrassment. “Aw Shucks” would also be a great name for a fairground’s food stand that specializes in various creative ways to serve corn on the cob. In fact, I have already contacted my intellectual property attorney, a partner in the law firm of Dewey, Takum and Howe, to process my registration of the name.

Which brings me to the subject of this column…corn. Corn has been a staple for diets for a long time. Native indigenous people domesticated the cereal grain maize long before 1492. You remember what happened in 1492. It was on a Tuesday morning that Columbus “discovered” what became America. Of course, he did not discover America; he accidentally bumped into it thinking he had found passage to India. One of his mates, a sailor name Timmy, saw some of the people already there and assumed they had landed in India. He still called them Indians even though maize was on the menu and not tandoori chicken.

It turns out that maize and corn are the same food item. But in the battle of ingredients listed on food cartons, corn won. In fact, corn is our largest crop, being able to be grown in every state. Iowa produces the most corn. Surprisingly of the 12 billion bushels of corn produced yearly in the United States, only 10% is eaten in some form by humans. Most of the corn gets consumed by livestock.

Recently I attended a picnic where corn on the cob was on the menu. Looking around at the thirty guests I witnessed the four ways people eat corn on the cob. According to Duke Fenwick author of “Down The Hatch: Common Eating Habits,” studies have confirmed that most people stick to one of the four methods to eat corn on the cob. In no particular order they are the typewriter, rolling pin, random chew and the guillotine.

The typewriter is when you begin eating from the cob and continue in a straight line from one end to the other. Then like in the days of using a typewriter, rotate the ear to the next row and begin again. The rolling pin method involves simply chomping down near one side of the ear of corn and rotating it to complete that section before moving to the next area. Random chew is self-explanatory. You attack the corn without a discernable method, biting off pieces wherever your mouth lands. The guillotine requires a sharp knife to remove the corn kernels to be eaten from a plate or bowl.

Interestingly, studies have shown that the method you choose reveals personality traits. If you use the typewriter method, you might be an analytical person who tends to finish one project before going on to another.

If you fancy the rolling pin method, you are a creative multitasker type. You tend to have many projects going on at once. You are highly creative and enjoy exploring new things.

If you attack the ear of corn with random chews, you might go through life without a set game plan. However, you delight in knowing that you are willing to explore and learn about anything that comes your way.

If you cleave the kernels like a guillotine, you are probably very neat and fastidious. Your behavior is more akin to Felix Unger than Oscar Madison who undoubtedly was a random chew guy. To my younger readers they are characters created by Neil Simon seen on stage, screen and television.

Regardless of the method you choose, corn on the cob is always a welcome addition to a meal. Speaking of welcoming, when you go to my “Aw Shucks” corn booth at the fair, I welcome you to try my inventive selections. Whether it is the bacon wrapped ears of buttered corn or my offering of corn rolled in peanut butter and chopped coconut, feel free to expand your corn-y horizons.


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