Inside were two ears of corn. And a letter.
The handwritten note explained that the corn was an heirloom variety called New England Eight Row Flint (or Otto File, by its Italian name), and that it was a taste that was nearly lost to history.
Native Americans cultivated this variety hundreds of years ago. The corn caught on with settlers in New England because it was hearty and nutritious.
Listen to the rest of the story on NPR’s All Things Considered..