Corn originated in present-day Mexico about 10,000 years ago. Its ancestor is a grass that native farmers cultivated into corn over time.
Corn became popular throughout South and Central America. By the time settlers came from Spain and England to North America, corn was being cultivated, grown and eaten by Native Americans all across North America: it was a staple of their diet. The corn in that time period more closely resembled what is now used mainly for livestock; sweet corn, like what is commonly eaten today, was not developed until the 18th century. Europeans of the time quickly adapted to the vegetable and even took part in fights over corn fields planted by Native Americans.