Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thoughts on Corn

I need to interrupt the vacation saga to discuss my thoughts on corn.

I picked up six ears of corn either Monday or last Friday, I can't remember. I had it chilling in the crisper in the fridge so it doesn't matter. The corn was from Florida so it was semi-local to here in North Georgia. If you don't believe me look at the license plates around here. I didn't even know they grew corn in Florida. Fresh corn in May is pretty cool. You can pick and ship corn from Florida to Georgia in the same day, at most day and a half. Of course I know it sits in giant coolers before shipping to keep its freshness, so it's not THAT fresh. I saw lots of those coolers living in South Georgia. Fresh corn in May, hard to believe from someone who grew up with Indiana corn and the mantra "knee high by the Fourth of July."

My favorite and usual way of preparing corn is in my steam pot. Rarely do I boil it anymore. Occasionally I will microwave it. Last night I threw it on the grill at the end of grilling the boneless pork ribs. I ate the three left over ears this afternoon for lunch, cold, straight out of the refrigerator. Yes, that's right, I said cold. I love cold corn. Don't know why. It started when I was a kid at the Lake in the days before microwave ovens. I don't know how I would have reheated it back then. I even roll it in butter, which barely sticks, and salt it. I so love cold leftover corn.

Which brings me to this:

Why do we cook corn?

We don't think twice about not cooking tomatoes, onions, celery, apples, oranges, peas, radishes, carrots, strawberries, etc. But you mention eating corn raw and people's faces blanch. I think it is the only vegetable that we eat that we always cook. Well maybe potatoes and I don't know anything about turnips, but those are roots anyway.

I maintain that the only reason we cook the corn is to melt the butter and the only reason we need the butter melted is for the salt to stick. So if you don't salt your corn, save some time and skip cooking it. It tastes the same. I know. I've tried it. And if yo are boiling your corn for 20 minutes, stop! You don't need to cook it, only make it hot enough to melt the butter!

I asked (emailed) Alton Brown to look into it once. He never got back to me and I have yet to see it mentioned in an episode.

All that said, I still cook mine. I have to have the salt.

I can't wait for the next batch of corn, hopefully Sliver Queen, and the cold leftovers.


Huff Daddy said...

Hey! That was my 100th post! SWEET!!!

Brook said...

Happy Bloggiverserary!
I think corn is cooked since like most grains there are chemical compounds that need to be broken down to make them more easily digested.
I agree though that truly fresh young corn pulled right off the stalk is very sweet and tasty.
Look at how the raccoons and deer love it so!
Also I have a recipe that is good for that end of the season corn that is too mature to eat off the cob and yet not ripened enough to dry and grind into cornmeal-if you are interested.

Craig said...

And don't forget why we use sugar on corn...

Huff Daddy said...

I thought only my brother's crazy ex put sugar on corn. " A cup of sugar in the water when you boil it brings out the sweet."

Anonymous said...

Mmmm....corn. There really is no substitute though for fresh (literally) off the farm corn bought at a roadside stand in the midwest.

Huff Daddy said...

Yep, farm fresh is the best. That's how we always bought it in IN. Sometimes it's just in a pile and you'd leave money in a bucket on an honor system.

Gown here I have found that often people eat field corn. Blech! We called it cow corn growing up. It's not sweet corn it's the corn grown to feed livestock. The claim is that if picked fresh and cooked immediately it's good. Give me midwestern Silver Queen.