These days, all you need to do to make the internet blow up is to paint a bagel or some ice cream in a colour it’s not meant to be. And at a time when a dish’s appearance has as much impact as its taste, people are going all out to turn the most mundane foodstuffs into Instagrammable hits.
But sometimes, nature has done all the work for us. Which is exactly the case for a mysterious, rainbow-toned variety of corn called Glass Gem.
While Glass Gem only started dazzling social media back in 2012, the corn has actually been growing for several decades. Shared by Refinery29, this video from Mother Earth News names Oklahoma farmer Carl Barnes as the crop’s creator.
Dubbed a “Native American corn expert” Barnes started developing the foodstuff in the late 80s in order to feel closer to his roots. Crossing three different coloured varieties of corn, the farmer managed to come up with his famous rainbow kernels.
Carl Barnes then met Greg Schoen, a young farmer whom he took under his wing, and started producing the corn on a larger scale and in more colourful variations.
Today, you can order your very own jewel-hued corn via Native Seed/SEARCH, where one packet of fifty seeds costs $4.95 ( about N2500).
Unfortunately, though, the Glass Gem isn’t one for the barbecue as it cannot be eaten straight from the cob. It can, however, be ground down into cornmeal for things like tortillas or popped into popcorn (which sadly, will not be coloured). And let’s face it, who doesn’t want to try unicorn corn?