JAMRUD, August 12: With the start of August, the maize crop is ready for harvest in majority of the areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA region and corncobs have flooded the markets nowadays.
In summer season, people often like cold drinks but there are many who prefer eating corncobs.
Not only the cobs are popular nowadays, but most Pashtuns like the maize bread called ‘Sukrak’ in local Pashto language.
Mr Jamil, 25, a vendor selling salty corncobs for the last 15 years in Jamrud market, Khyber Agency, told TNN that they sold about 80kg corncobs every day.
“It is cooked in four different ways. It can be cooked in salt, it can be boiled, or grilled and it can be cooked in hot sand. Some people like boiled corncobs while some like those cooked in salt,” he added.
If it is cooked properly, it is very tasty. Someone looking for a diet-rich, affordable food may get a corncob from pushcart vendors who are nowadays found in streets and roads.
Fresh corncob cooked in its own moisture in sand or prepared through boiling are a favourite snack food, particularly among children, because the commodity is available at price much lower than other food items.
People usually forbid their children to eat unhygienic food being sold in various markets but that is not a case with corncobs. Doctors say that maize fulfils deficiency of blood and controls blood pressure. They say it is also beneficial for diabetic people.
Mr Abdur Rehman, hailing from Khyber Agency and currently staying in Peshawar, says he daily sells around 100 corncobs and that it is a profitable job compared to other laborious employment.
“I had left my village in search of job almost one year ago and now I am living in Peshawar,” he said.
The Weed Science Society of Pakistan says that maize is the third largest cereal crop after wheat and rice. Also, maize plays major role in nutrition because it acts as the alternate source of food in case of deficiency of wheat and rice, the conventional cereal grains.
TNN correspondent Ayaz Raza from Jamrud and Editor Online Muhammad Shahid from Peshawar have contributed to this report.