These papery husks from corn are used primarily in making tamales, but they're also used to wrap other foods for steaming. Latin markets sell packaged corn husks, which must be softened before use. To do so, soak husks in very hot water for about 30 minutes, then drain, pat dry and use.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.