Author(s): Michael Owen Jones
In Corn: A Global History, Michael Owen Jones interweaves food history, folklore, history, and popular culture to create a vibrant story of corn's prevalence and importance worldwide. Indigenous people in the New World referred to maize as 'Our Mother', 'Our Life', and 'She Who Sustains Us'. Originating in Mesoamerica 9,000 years ago, corn or maize now grows in 160 countries. Here, Jones traces the transportation of corn to the Old World by Christopher Columbus, and its rapid distribution throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia that followed. While he addresses the controversies surrounding maize, Jones also writes about the many ways corn is celebrated, describing many of the remarkable culinary uses of corn, from the Chilean savoury pie pastel de choclo to Japanese corn soup, Mexican tamales, and the South African cracked hominy dish umngqusho, favoured by former president Nelson Mandela.
Michael Owen Jones is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles.