Sweet Corn for Tacos


I picked 3 dozen ears of sweet corn to give to friends.  Two friends were home and gladly accepted the gift.  I drove around town wondering what to do with the remaining dozen.

A temporary taco stand was set up in the park by main street.

“Maybe they would be up for a trade,” I thought as I parked my car.

“How many tacos you want?” a woman asked me.

“Uuuuh,” I said and walked over to where a man was cooking meat on a large, flat grill.

“How many tacos you want?” he asked me.

“What kind of meat?” I asked him.


“Oh.  Do you like corn?”

I realized I was acting quite weird.

“Sweet corn.  I’m a farmer.  I have a dozen ears in my car.  Would you like to trade?”

The cook looked confused and uncomfortable.  The woman sidled over to help translate.

“I’ll show you,” I said, and walked back to my car.

I set the bag of sweet corn on a cooler.  When the cook stopped turning the meat, I took out an ear and pulled the husk back to show the plump, yellow and white kernels.

The cook said something excitedly in Spanish to the woman.

“How much?” he asked.

“It’s worth 4 dollars a dozen,” I said.

“4 tacos are 6 dollars,” he said.

I wasn’t sure what he was driving at.

“Ok, how about 3 tacos?” I countered.

He nodded and went back to cooking.

My friend from Honduras tells me most of the Hispanic immigrants in Lafayette county are from small towns and rural areas of Mexico.  They came to the US for work, of course.  But they enjoy the bucolic atmosphere of Lafayette county. 

They began wrapping up the tacos and the woman said, “He’s giving you four.”

We country folk sure know how to drive a hard bargain.

3 Responses to Sweet Corn for Tacos

  1. James says:

    There seems to be something really honest and wholesome when it comes to bartering goods directly.

    Maybe it takes us back to a simpler time, something that is understood only on an instinctive genetic level. A thing that was somehow lost when we introduced currency.

    Or maybe it is the small twinge of pleasure that each party in the transaction gets by knowing they screwed over the government by completely avoiding sales tax.

  2. takingchargemom says:

    I can’t wait to try the sweet corn this weekend! Do you think Vinny Vanucchi’s in Galena will trade sweet corn for dinner?

  3. The shmoo says:

    Most money has no stored value and mediums of barter will be the new way once the fiat currency ends. All fiat currency always returns to its intrinsic value of 0 – Voltaire

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