Chuckwagon Dinner

Jaxson Hill, 21 months, of Meridian, chows down on some corn at the Chuckwagon Dinner Tuesday in Caldwell. The dinner, which is an annual Caldwell Night Rodeo tradition, continues through Friday.

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CALDWELL — For the Caldwell Kiwanis Club, it’s the largest fundraiser of the year. For many local families, it’s an annual tradition during the Caldwell Night Rodeo. For others, it’s all about the corn. And this year the corn was “Amaizing.”

Diners at the 62nd annual Kiwanis Chuckwagon dinner treated themselves to all the corn-on-the-cob they could eat, but this year the corn was a little more special.

Amaize Sweet Corn was developed by the Crookham Company over 20 years and selected from more than 10,000 variations of corn populations, according to a news release. It was served at the dinner for the first time, and it was getting rave reviews.

“It’s awesome,” Cheri White of Caldwell said in between bites of the corn.

White was joined at the dinner by her neighbors Craig and Lorna Telecky. The Telecky’s have lived in Caldwell for more than six years. This was their first time at the Chuckwagon dinner, but they said it wouldn’t be their last. Craig Telecky said he had eaten about three corn cobs, and he enjoyed all the food — a BBQ beef sandwich, potato salad and a cupcake.

Jim and Lori Stevens of Eagle were being treated to the dinner by family members. Jim Stevens said he heard the record for the most corn eaten was upwards of 20 cobs, but he was aiming for maybe four.

But based on Lori Stevens’ description of the corn, going for the record might not be too hard.

“It’s the best I’ve ever tasted,” she said. “It melts in your mouth and has bursts of flavor.”

Freddy Monize of Nampa had a neat stack of cobs on his plate that didn’t have a single kernel left on them. He said he ate about four or five.

Blue Barn Produce in Caldwell is one of the only places to buy the Amaize Sweet Corn in the area.

“It’s been quite insane at my place,” Bobbi Bicandi of Blue Barn Produce said. She said they have received a lot of positive comments about the corn on their Facebook page. She was just worried about selling out before the next rows of the special corn had time to grow.

The Crookham Company plants a field of corn just for the Kiwanis dinner each year, the club said. The Chuckwagon dinner is the Kiwanis’ biggest fundraiser of the year. It uses the money raised to fund scholarships, student-of-the-month awards and youth organizations throughout Caldwell. They also donate books and dictionaries to local schools.

The club’s president-elect Dave Fraley said they expect to serve between 2,500 and 3,000 people over the course of four nights.

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