Monday, November 22, 2010

Stuff Arabs Love #3: Corn

Yes, you read the title correctly. Arabs love corn. Specifically as a snack item, not necessarily as a dinner side dish. Those starchy, sweet kernels of goodness seem to get the Arabs' hearts a'flutterin' and they will line up in droves to get a cup of its crunchy, buttery nourishment.

It remains a mystery as to why corn, of all things, is so popular with our Middle Eastern counterparts. Perhaps because corn is not indigenous to the Middle East it's considered an exotic delicacy? Perhaps it is the vegetable's versatility. Regardless of why it's popular, in any mall in the Middle East you can find a corn stand offering maize drenched in all kinds of flavored butters to titillate your taste buds.

To be clear: I'm not talking about the popped variety of corn. It wouldn't be all that surprising if the Arabs loved popcorn (they do, but as far as I can tell only the sugary caramel kind), cause that stuff is delicious and relatively healthy. And they don't like it on the cob, either. No, no. Our neighbors in the East like the cooked kernels just the way they would emerge from the Jolly Green Giant's metallic confines.

Just heat 'em up, slap some butter on, and go to town!

This was definitely one of those things that struck the hubs and I as very strange in our first few days in the Kingdom. Seriously, the people in the mall got so excited when the corn stand guy returned to his post after the allotted prayer time had passed, "Hurry up! Hurry up! I need some CORN!"

Of course it's an Asian migrant worker serving up the corn!

So there you have it, one of the more perplexing things that Arabs love. Corn.

Vicariously yours,


  1. My people call it maize.

  2. Do they also like chipmunks, I feel like this isn't the first thing that I have seen advertised by chipmunks!

  3. I am sending your link to one of my college roomates who would eat a bowl of corn for dinner every night when we lived together!