Araniss! Araniss!

During the last weekend, I notice someone had brought home raw ears of corn, and displayed them on the kitchen table. It is interesting how such simple veggie can bring one years back…The idea of “corn on the cob” is sealed into my childhood memories. And somehow, even though I can order or prepare corn on the cob myself – which would definitely be a lot cleaner – there is little that equates to the experience of buying from a corn on the cob stand.When I was very young, our outings were limited due to the political conflict presiding over the county. I spent part of my childhood between Switzerland and Lebanon, and my Mother had to be very creative to keep this kid entertained. She would brave army and militia stops in order to take my friends and I to the beach, but when the situation was at its worst, we had to stay put.Even though most kids in our neighborhood were older, there were a few boys and one girl I would often go tree-climbing and building tree houses with. Dolls, cars, PlayMobile, and the likes could only keep me indoors for so long, and so I sometimes found myself – during summertime – hunting for planks for a tree house, or picking a book to read and preparing lemonade for when I’d be up up in my tree.And the common factor between most days, when the situation was calm enough, was the clanking sound the man would make, followed by “Araniss! Araniss!” (pronounced aah-rah-neess); which translates to ‘corn on the cob, corn on the cob!’. An often tired man would be pushing forth all his equipment on a charette, holding the tongs and rattling them to make the clanking sound we will probanly forever attribute to corn. And all the kids would – most of the time – pause for a few seconds in internal conflict. We couldn’t just run to him and choose what we wanted. We had to make sure he was “proper”, because otherwise, our parents would never cosign the ‘purchase of the goods’.Of course, looking back now, the factors that weighed in on our decision were rather humorous. The charette had to look clean and stable, the man had to me shaved, his nails cut, and the water had to still be somehow translucent.Much of it depended on making sure we felt like we had chosen the safest ‘one’, and I guess at seven, that feels like enough justification to bring to your parents.In Beirut, as you grow up, you are constantly being told that everyone is trying to rip you off, a bequeathal of any merchant city, perhaps. And so, we would always try to send an adult to order our cobs, during which he/she would be interrupted a few times in order to make sure the exact cobs we wanted were selected, shucked, boiled, and then salted. Sometimes, they would have been boiled before we chose them, but the man always handed them back in their leaf so we wouldn’t burn our little hands.I don’t know about you, but to me, there was something pretty amazing about corn on the cob when I was a kid; these rows of perfectly aligned, tightly packed corns, all shiny. I remember I would be so annoyed when, having ravaged half of mine, I would turn to see my friend neatly finishing up ONE SIDE of the cob, gnawing at corn by corn. How unnerving to have to eat corn neatly one by one!Corn on the cob would at most times signal the end of a play date, as after finishing up, we eventually had to go back home and brush our kid teeth back to life.But it was worth it… Salted Corn on the CobCheck out this corn on the cob recipe, that’s pretty much it ;)


  1. deubleudi says:

    Thout would be me, eating one corn at a time, to start with and then destroying it.. to the bone, figuratively speaking of course..but come to think of it, we also use to ‘absorb’ the salty water from the hard core inside and it usually tasted better than the ‘home-made’ ones ( that’s when you’re a small little kid) .. thank you for this lovely post, and for the sweet ‘war’ memories

    1. deubleudi says:

      quoting: I remember I would be so annoyed when, having ravaged half of mine, I would turn to see my friend neatly finishing up ONE SIDE of the cob, gnawing at corn by corn. How unnerving to have to eat corn neatly one by one!

    2. Hahaha…I know exactly what you are talking about. The thought of it now as a supposed adult makes me cringe. But oh well!!Thanks for commmenting I am glad you liked it ;) I intended to have a short video but I can’t seem to find a charette…