Ok like the saying if you don’t like the weather wait a minute applies to anywhere you live the same with the best corn is from wherever you happen to be living. Everyone brags about how great their corn is in their part of the country. The real answer is try to get corn that is grown and picked no more than a few miles from where you live and picked with in the last few hours. At least that is my general rule.
Sweet corn is a warm-season crop and one of the major vegetables grown in New England.
- It is an extremely popular crop for roadside stand and farmers market sales.
- The average ear of corn has 800 kernels, arranged in 16 rows.
- There is one piece of silk for each kernel.
- A bushel of corn contains about 27,000 kernels.
- Each tassel on a corn plant releases as many as 5 million grains of pollen.
- Corn is an ingredient in more than 3,000 grocery products.
- One bushel of corn can make 33 pounds of sweetener, 32 pounds of starch, or 2 1/2 gallons of ethanol fuel.
Selecting Corn on the Cob
Fully ripe sweet corn has bright green, moist husks. The silk should be stiff, dark and moist. You should be able to feel individual kernels by pressing gently against the husk. As soon as corn is picked, its sugar begins its gradual conversion to starch, which reduces the corn’s sweetness. Corn will lose 25% or more of its sugar within 25 hours after harvesting it. Fresh corn, if possible, should be cooked and served the day it is picked or purchased.
Between the time of purchase and cooking, keep the corn moist and cool. Refreigerate it immediately to help the corn stay sweet. You can add a teaspoon of sugar for each quart of water used to cook corn that has not been used immediately. Be sure to use corn within 2-3 days.
In the Husk – Grilled or Baked:
In American regional cooking, corn is important in many recipes, such as corn chowder, creamed corn, succotash, and cornbread. But no preparation can come close to the timeless appeal of simple buttered corn on the cob. All over New England, small towns celebrate the harvest with sweet corn festivals. Settlers adapted the Indian style of roasting corn with the husks removed, and to this day, street vendors around the world sell husked corn.
To prepare, pull husk back off each ear of corn, but leave attached at base of cob. Pull off and discard silk; trim off any insect damage, and rinse ears. If you want to butter them pat ears dry and rub with soft butter. Pull husks back up around corn.
If you want the husk to stay snugly against the ear, pull off one or two of the outer husk layers, tear length wide into thin strips, and tie them around ear in several places. Just before cooking, immerse the ears in cool water (this prevents burning). Just as soon as the husk picks up the dark silhouette of the corn kernels underneath and begins to pull away at the tip of the ear, the corn is ready to remove off the grill.
To Grill: Husk corn and discard silk; wrap each ear loosely with aluminum foil. Over gas or hot coals, place corn onto a hot grill over medium heat. Cover barbecue with lid, open any vents, and cook fifteen to 20 twenty minutes; turn occasionally.
To Bake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare corn as directed for grilling, but put ears in a single layer, separating them slightly, directly onto the oven rack or onto a baking pan. Bake twenty to twenty-five minutes or until corn is tender when pierced and very hot.
To: Steam: Husk corn and discard silk. Place some water on bottom of pan and place corn in steamer tray or in water Corn is not covered but my Mom used to. Cover pot bring water to boil and steam about 1-3 minutes turn off heat and let sit covered until ready to eat about 10-15 minutes.
To Microwave: Perfect for cooking just one ear of corn. Husk corn and discard silk. Rinse and wrap each ear loosely in a paper towel. Cook on full power one to two minutes or until ears are very hot to touch.
From my days at Paul’s Market I still prefer raw corn, which is how Paul and I would determine which row of corn we would be buying that day for the store.
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