edible monocot seeds

Ross Koning koning at ECSUC.CTSTATEU.EDU
Mon Aug 30 16:13:41 EST 1999

Another preparation of "flint" corn that makes
a memorable demonstration to show monocot embryos
and endosperm is the "Corn Nut." I am guessing that
the seeds are softened in water and then fried...but
you don't have to do it. Corn nuts are sold as a
snack (somewhat akin to roasted sunflower seeds) in
cellophane bags in grocery stores (usually near the
pretzels etc.). I have passed them out for lectures
to examine together and enjoy. They come in at least
two flavors.  I would avoid the barbecue flavor as
the "seasonings" they use leave a lot of messy fingers.
The standard "corn nuts" are quite good to use...and
tasty too.

I use peanuts in the "husk" for my dicot example
in lecture. The salted ones taste better IMHO.


At 12:48 PM -0500 8/30/99, Wilson, Chester E. wrote:
>I'll reveal my Southern tastes and upbringing by suggesting that hominy
>makes an excellent demonstration of monocots' seed anatomy.  The preparation
>in lye causes the corn seeds to swell and soften, but all of the tissues
>maintain their integrity, including the seedcoat.  The endosperm turns
>off-white, the cotyledon turns a creamy yellow color, and the rest of the
>embryo becomes a bright white.  Well, maybe I remember the colors of the
>embryo wrong and the yellow and white parts are reversed...anyway the parts
>all take on different colors and the dissection is eased by the enlarged and
>softend seed.
>Since moving northwards I have found canned hominy in the 'ethnic foods'
>sections of grocery stores when they don't shelf it with the rest of the
>canned vegetables.  It is used in many Hispanic recipes.  After dissecting
>the corn seeds, talking about the origin of hominy grits (which is dried,
>ground hominy), and explaining the the 'i' is silent and the word is
>pronounced 'homny' I usually cajole everyone into eating a couple of the
>seeds.  Thus this little excursion into the seed anatomy of monocots
>broadens to include a bit of applied, agricultural botany and it becomes
>something of a multicultural event, not to mention a delightful culinary
>expericence.  OK, to be honest I often end up eating most of the can of
>hominy at lunch.
>Me, I want to live with my feet in Dixie and my head in the cool blue
>North...(Jesse Winchester)
>Chester Wilson
>Biology Department
>University of St. Thomas
>St. Paul, MN  55116
>c9wilson at stthomas.edu
>fax  (651)962-5209

Ross Koning                 | koning at ecsu.ctstateu.edu
Biology Department          | http://koning.ecsu.ctstateu.edu/
Eastern CT State University | phone: 860-465-5327
Willimantic, CT 06226 USA   | fax: 860-465-4479

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