In Jala, Mexico in the region of Nayarit, on the cost of Pacific Ocean, corn is a real “queen of fields”. The unique breed of maize that flourishes in this region can grow to more than 15 feet, and is some of the tallest cornstalks in the world, Religion News Service writes.
The 98-centimeter corncob Jala is listed in the Guinness Book of Records. Their average length is 50 cm, and the height of the whole plant is 4.5 meters. Maize stems decorate even the building of the municipality here.
Local farmers pray for their cobs every year to reach the largest size, and in August, Mexican agrarians in white cowboy hats arrange a contest for the largest corncob.
And the festival in Jala coincides here with the Feast of the Assumption of the Mother of God, so prayers do not remain unanswered. Christianity here, as, indeed, in Ukraine, organically absorbed the local pagan traditions.
At the festival, there are other achievements of Mexican agriculture in food tents, but corn reigns here in almost every dish.
Abundio Gomez and his brother grow Jala all their lives and won local contests for size more than once. And Ignacio Elias and his son took second place this year with a cob size of 42 cm.
At the competition, farmers must bring five uncovered cobs, from which the jury removes the husks, measure from top to bottom and fixes the results.
“These are the biggest cobs in the world,” boasts farmer Jose Elias Partida,” and our competition allows us to show our corn to the world.” He grows cobs not only for winning.
Jala breed goes not only to direct consumption, but also to seeds and, like any corn, to forage. From corn bake, in particular, tortilla (Mexican-American lavash) and the local delicacy, sweet puffs.
Women take part in the festival not only as cooks …
… but also as contestants …
… and as a support group.
Although Jala is valued locally for its size and flavor, giving a special flavor to local dishes, modern improved maize hybrids yield more crops and largely supplant the Aboriginal giant, says and shows the Mexican scientist Aragon Hernandez Guzman.
In the years when the rains start early, two types of corn, ancient and modern, often adjacent to each other, can interbreed. As a result, the height, length, thickness and vegetation period of Jala have decreased over the past 100 years. In 1907, scientists recorded a cob of 60 cm in length, and in 2007 the longest of them reached only 36 cm.
But the Nayarit farmers do not despair and each year they do not let their main agrarian dignity lose.