Christopher Columbus discovered maize when he landed in the New World in 1492. By 1500 maize was being grown in Spain. Shortly after that Italians started growing it in Northern Italy and the maize was most often made into a form of porridge or firm block of grain called polenta. Maize’s popularity spread north and east to Romania, Slovenia, Serbia, and Bulgaria. Eaten daily by the poor peasants of Romania, the nickname for Romanian Jews is the name of the porridge, Mamaliga.
Eventually maize was eaten all over Europe but even as late as 1846 it did not appear in the English cookbook, “The Jewish Manual or Practical Information in Jewish and Modern Cookery by Lady Judith Cohen Montefiore”.
People forgot the country of origin for maize, but they knew it was a foreign grain. “Corn” was a generic word for grain in many of the European languages so maize forever became known as Indian Corn and North Americans just called it corn.
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 4 ServingsServings
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 12 ounce can of vacuum packed corn-short can containing very little liquid
- 1/2 cup milk or soy creamer
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter or parve margarine, melted
- Combine the flour, sugar and corn in a 3 quart bowl.
- Measure the ½ cup milk in a 2 cup liquid measuring cup. Add the eggs to the milk and mix with a fork to combine. Add to corn along with the vanilla and the melted butter. Make sure to stir the mixture while you add the hot melted butter.
- Pour into a casserole and bake at 425F for 35 minutes or until golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out moist but clear.
NOTE: This recipe can be doubled or quadrupled but figure on a little more baking time- up to one hour.
- Defrosted frozen corn or even fresh corn can be used for this recipe however canned corn is the most reliably sweet corn because it is processed shortly after picking.
- Melting butter in a mug or glass measuring cup with a handle will give an older child something to hold on to when removing the hot butter from the microwave. Make sure that the mug’s handle doesn’t heat up in the microwave. Some mugs do and become hotter than the liquid they contain.
- If a child is old enough to read, they are old enough to make this recipe with little supervision but make sure an adult removes the casserole from the oven.
- Unless you are making this for a small dinner, double the recipe…it is that good!
- If your relatives came from Romania did they eat Mamaliga (cornmeal mush or cakes) when they came to this country? Why would an immigrant continue to make foods from home? Why would an immigrant never make childhood dishes again?
- What’s your favorite way to eat corn?
Source: Entree to Judaism For Families