Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Maize can be harvested and consumed in the unripe state (known as green cobs), when the kernels are fully grown but still immature. Sweet corn, a maize variety that is high in sugars and low in starch, can be usually consumed as green cobs in the immature state. Such corn on the cob is a popular snack food item among Sri Lankan consumers. Therefore, selling green cobs and boiled cobs are carried out in cottage level industry by many entrepreneurs in the country.  At the same time raw green cobs are purchased and boiled by number of households. The husk of the green cob is bright green and attach snugly around the ear of green cob. The kernels of the green cobs are tender and the endosperm is in the “milky stage”. Green cobs must usually be cooked to become palatable. This may be done by either simply boiling or roasting the whole cobs.

Green Cobs

Boiling Corn on the Cob: 

Boiling is one of the easiest methods to prepare the fresh green cobs. Green cobs are boiled quickly. All the husks and silk (the white hairy threads just under the husk) are removed from the green cobs just before boiling. Then water is added into a pot and allowed to boil on high heat. After that husked green cobs are placed on boiling water pot and the water is allowed to boil again on high heat. Once water is boiled, immediately remove the corn ears from the water. Usually it will take 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Boiled cob is normally eaten while still warm.

Boiled green cobs

Roasting Corn on the Cob:

Roasting is another easiest method to prepare the fresh green cobs. It is some what similar to barbecue process. Fresh green cobs with husks are directly placed in hot charcoal or hot grill. When the husks are charred, cobs can be removed from hot charcoal or grill. Then charred husks are removed from the corn cob. This process will take 15 to 20 minutes.

Roasted green cobs

The New Market Opportunities for Boiled Cobs Vendors:

Boiled cobs are available around the Sri Lanka, usually from small operators and independent vendors operating from a cart, table, small stalls or motor vehicle. Boiled cobs is gaining market acceptance in recent years.  The high penetration of this sector into the urban market is primarily responsible for this growth. However, the production of boiled cobs is only a cottage industry. Therefore, these street vendors provide their products targeting to the local consumers. If they use good manufacturing practices to produce quality products, it will create potential new market channels. It is also important to target major tourist destinations to sell their boiled cobs that attract overseas visitors as well as local visitors, such as Anuradhapura, Kandy, and North and Eastern province.



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