This Week’s Sign of Summer: Fresh Corn
There’s nothing like fresh-picked corn on the cob, either slathered with butter and a sprinkle of salt & pepper, grilled, or incorporated into a summer salad. Judging by the popularity of our corn display, the majority of you agree.
With corn, “fresh is better” is especially true: as soon as the corn is picked, its natural sugars start to convert to starch (it’s the same with asparagus). The sooner you can eat it, the sweeter it will taste. And that’s why we’re so proud of our local corn: we take delivery of our tender white corn from Brentwood every day. It’s picked in the morning and delivered in the afternoon – which means you can have same-day corn with your supper tonight– and any night during the season.
And we have another sweetness tip. It’s not only how soon you buy it, it’s also how long you cook it. Don’t cook it too long! Even the freshest ear, if cooked too long, can taste starchy and stale. If your preferred method is boiling it, you only need about two minutes in a rolling boil. And if you’ve never tried grilling it, you’re in for an unexpected treat. Grilling corn allows its natural sugars to caramelize, which adds another layer of flavor and imparts a more robust texture. Again, just don’t keep it on the heat for to long. Slice the grilled corn off the cob and incorporate it into a citrus-based salsa, and you’ll be the talk of the town!
Take a tip from our east coast friends and present your butter this way: slice a stick of butter across the top, about ¼” thick. Place it on a tray or butter dish and let your family and friends roll their corn in it. (Those little plastic corn holders are perfect for this!)
If you don’t eat butter, you can also enjoy corn with Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil with salt and pepper.
Like many vegetables, you don’t even have to cook corn – you can just eat it right off the cob. In fact, if you saw our employee room during corn season, you might just see one of us peeling back the corn husk and start to eat an ear of corn just as it is.
Choosing and using
The husks should be green and vibrant with no sign of withering or drying out. They should fit snugly around the ear. The kernels should be in nice rows and the kernels appear plump (indicating moisture).
We already talked about cooking ideas. If you want to save some corn for after the season, you can do that easily. Blanch the ears and cut the kernels of the cob. Freeze for 2-3 months.
Did you know…
- A stalk of corn only produces one good
- There are more than 100 species of corn.
- Corn originated in the Americas; the first record of its domestication goes back before 9,000 BC.
- Today more than 40% of the world’s corn is grown in the US.