Corn on the Cob - Eating the Season
Corn on the Cob
Perhaps one of the most anticipated harvests of the year here in Nova Scotia. Fresh from the field, dehusked and put in a big boiling pot of water for 15 minutes. We love corn on the cob, and a variety called Peaches N Cream is perhaps one of the sweetest. So pick up a dozen at the farmers market, along with some butter, and dental floss. It's time to indulge.
A Little History
It is known that corn has been cultivated since 3,400 BC. How it arrived in Europe or North America is up for debate, bit need less to say it has been a staple in diets for a very long time. Also referred to a maize, it fueled the Aztec Empire, the Mayan and Inca Civilizations. Corn is a grass, with the kernels being the fruit and seeds of the plant. Harvested young, when the seeds are sweet and tender, is the best time to eat.
When to Buy
It depends where you get your corn, if you cannot get it right from the fields, then the grocery store might be an alternative. Best time is early morning, if there is any chance the corn can come in contact with direct sunlight. This will start to turn the sugars to starches and toughen up the kernels, in no time you will have a tough cob to deal with.
How to cook Corn
Strip the husk and silk (the long string strands) from the ear of corn. Trim the stem, but leave about an inch to grasp. Place in a pot of unsalted boiling water for 3 to 15 minutes. This really depends on how many your boiling. I find 6 ears of corn takes about 15 minutes and is enough for 2 people. Then after cooking, you can season with salt pepper and butter. Salt in the water will actually harden the kernels.
You can also barbecue the ears of corn, just soak them in water for about 10 minutes, place over moderate heat on the grill for about 15 minutes. The husks act as a container to gently steam the corn. Then let cool down for a few minutes and dehusk and serve.
Enjoy the freshness of the season and buy local.