Corn is a ubiquitous part of Southern food—from bread to whiskey. But how did it get to be that way? In this episode of Gravy, we go on a hunt for the origins of corn, and how it came to be so fully embedded in the South.
Stephen Satterfield is a fifth generation Atlantan who can trace his ancestors back to the plantations on which they were enslaved. His family has been eating corn for more than a century. In this story, Stephen takes us along in his quest for corn’s prehistory. On the way, he stumbles upon some delicious ideas about corn’s future too.
You can find the institute where Flavio Aragón-Cuevas works, the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales Agrícolas y Pecuarias, or INIFAP, here. (Hint: you might need to be able to read Spanish in order to glean much info its website.)
The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center—or CIMMYT—where Martha Wilcox works is here.
You can learn more about Jim Holland’s work on maize breeding and genetics here.