Maize

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Maize
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Flora
Official Name Maize
Common Name Corn
Classification Grass
Common Use Culinary
Origins Ollean Peninsula, Daendroc
Habitat Various

Maize is a grain crop staple for over two millennia and a long-standing feature of Daen cuisine. The plant was initially isolated with a single, now Extinct Race, known as the Ochil, but both their early contact with the Altalar and later enslavement resulted in Maize’s position today. It has several varieties, and some are rarer than the core, yellow-kernelled variety that is consumed by thousands every day.

History

Maize is usually seen by Ailor and commoners as a product of the Daendroque Ailor, and thus, likely the Allorn Empire originally. However, history reveals the plant’s origins to be with another party: the mysterious Ochil. Discovered by the Altalar during the Consolidation, the population was isolated on the Ollean Peninsula. Communication established relatively quickly, and the strange Race reveled in the visit of outsiders, actively welcoming the Altalar in. This first party ultimately departed carrying a special gift: the staple Ochil crop, which they called Maysse. Altalar linguistics later turned this to Maize, and it grew in popularity across the Empire as the centuries wore on. The Ochil were ultimately removed from their peninsula, and the “Corn Culture" of their society, wearing clothing formed of the plant’s frons, and of their rituals involving the food, died with their full enslavement to the Allorn Empire. The Altalar had their slaves tend and harvest the grain, and as these slaves spread out after fleeing abroad, the influence of the Allorn Empire fluctuated over its long existence, and the substance spread to various other continents and had varieties develop over time. Today, Maize, or Corn as most call it, and its byproducts are staple cooking goods for the dishes of many temperate and humid climate regions. While not as common as the various wheat forms that carpet most of Ithania, Maize is still populous in other agricultural areas.

Appearance

Maize grows tall, reaching at most a height of 10 feet around a single, stiff green stalk. Branching off from this main stem are nodes that grow the plant’s namesake, a foot long or so of cob laced with kernels. These cobs are covered in a wrapping of silky white fibers before another wrapping of green leaves surrounds this; additionally, the broader plant has many narrow, pointed leaves similar to those surrounding the cobs along its surface. Further details about the various varieties of Maize can be read below.

  • Common Maize: Common Maize, also called Sweet Corn, is the most commonly cultivated breed of Maize in the modern world of Aloria. It has sweet, bright yellow kernels and can also be easily accessed for harvesting. It is grown across Aloria in large amounts.
  • Och Maize: Red or Och Maize is a variety of Maize likely first consumed by the Ochil people. However, it is known for having a more hardened outer layer to each kernel, protecting them better, and possessing multiple colors. Some have suggested categorizing the strains of this subgrouping, but in truth, their coloration changes are broad and across the entire subspecies. Some cobs can be in shades of dark red, but others are more varied, with singular black, white, or orange kernels along a mostly yellow surface. It is most commonly grown in Daen and Hadaria.
  • Wax Maize: Wax or Waxy Maize is a strange variety known for being sticky once cooked. Its kernels are all pale yellow or possessing splashes and shades of purple against pale, opaque kernels. Wax Maize was oddly developed by Sihai enclaves in wider Aloria but is highly unpopular outside these groups and some select markets. It is grown in small numbers in southern areas of the Regalian Archipelago, and in regions of Farah’deen.

Uses and Abilities

Maize has a singular, primary use, and that is in culinary endeavors. While it can be eaten raw, much more commonly the substance is dried and ground, refined, extracted, or left on the cob but cooked to produce various culinary works. Corn starch is a major culinary ingredient derived from Maize, while corn off the cob is a common Colonial dish. More commonly, Maize is used in a variety of Daendroque, Dressolini, and Altalar culinary goods.

Trivia

  • The Corn Culture of the Ochil was a reason for their promiscuity. Supposedly, their faith featured a prominent female fertility goddess, who proclaimed that sweet tastes and good times must be spread like the pollen of Maize: whenever the wind blew. Considering they lived on a peninsula, surrounded by the sea, that was fairly often.
  • Maize Mazes are a phenomenon invented several years ago in the City of Regalia during one of the region’s yearly Harvest Festivals. Since then, they have spread across the Empire and, to reduce the confusion, have often simply been referred to as Corn Mazes.

Accreditation
Writers HydraLana
Processors Nesstro, AlphaInsomnia, MantaRey
Last Editor HydraLana on 09/24/2021.

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