It’s corn and pear season and lots of people are excited to have this native delicacy back even if for a little while. The road sides are littered with make-shift grills and stands for roasting the corn and its most popular accompaniment, pear or “ube” as some call it. Corn equally combines wonderfully with coconut.
Most evenings during this period, it is not uncommon to see cars parked by these stands, either people closing from work or going about their businesses and trying to get a snack either for munching in traffic or as dinner depending on preference.
The season for corn usually coincides with the rainy season and what a period to get busy either at work or home! Wherever the bug catches you, roll up your sleeves and enjoy it while it lasts! Whether roast or boiled the pick of the crop is all yours.
It is also affordable! With as little as N50, you can have something to munch away.
Some prefer the boiled corn while others insist that “roasted” is the way to go! We spoke to a few vendors to find out how the business is faring now, and perhaps find out what they do when corn and pear are no longer in season.
Mrs. A. Odunsi who sells “roasted” corn with pears on Olowu Street, Ikeja, Lagos, says “The price varies. I don’t buy in bags, I go straight to the farm. If you taste my corn, there’s a difference. You will come back.
Mrs. Odunsi does not bat an eye when corn is out of season. The reason is simple. She switches her line of business immediately. On what she does when corn is out of season? “I will start selling roasted plantain and groundnut.”
She, however, says the business moves very well, that even with a full bag she will be done by 4p.m.
Clara Okeke, another corn seller in Ikeja, Lagos, says “corn business is good business,” adding “I have been doing this business for some years now. This is what I do to take care of my family. People prefer it roasted because of the taste. Though it is more expensive than it used to be because of transport, it’s better than doing nothing. She also says when corn is out of season she does roasted plantain and roasted yam with ponmo.
Idara who sells on Glover road in Ikoyi says she also sells plantain and yam when corn is not in season. “When it’s not in season the big bag can go as high as N14,000, but now we can get a bag for N9, 000 or N8, 000, depending on the location of the farm.”
We spoke to a few buyers on why they prefer the delicacy and they were quite honest in their opinions. One buyer, a man who prefers not to be named says “It’s not because it is cheaper. I prefer it because it’s easy. At the end of a work day, I don’t want to go back and make food as I am not married so I just stop for this and call it a night.”
Another buyer, Princess says she loves the delicacy and she always tries to find it even when it is out of season. She also prefers roasted to the boiled one.
To John, a factory worker in Lagos, the best way to enjoy the rain is to curl up on a sofa and enjoy your corn. According to him, it keeps you busy and makes you forget the cold weather.
We should enjoy this indigenous delicacy while it’s in season; it is, after all, a celebration of our culture and heritage. So see you at the next “corn(ference)” stand!