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Market Haul

Market Haul: Sweet Corn

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Sweet corn is a delicious and nutritious addition to any summer meal.

I dare you to pass by a hand-painted, roadside sign advertising freshly picked sweet corn without stopping. Better yet, don't even try to resist the temptation. Sweet corn is delicious, nutritious, and a surefire sign on summer.

As its name implies, sweet corn has a higher sugar content than the types used for cornstarch, syrup and other derivatives. While hundreds of sweet corn varieties are currently available, it's best to opt for whatever is freshest and grown nearby.

How to choose them
When buying sweet corn, go as local as possible. The sugar content starts its transformation into starch immediately after it is picked, so the sooner it's eaten, the better it will taste.

At the farmers' market, sweet corn is sold in the husk. Look for cobs with brown, sticky tassels at the end; black or dry tassels signal that the corn is old. Squeeze the husked cob lightly to try to feel for even, plump kernels from the base all the way to the tip of the cob.

How to use them
You can’t go wrong with classic buttery corn on the cob.. For a more flavorful variation, try elote, a deliciously cheesy Mexican treat. Slice the kernels off of the cob to make a summery salad or a savory relish, a perfect topper for steaks, chicken, and other proteins fresh off the grill. For an unusual dessert that is sure to impress, try your hand at making corn ice cream.

How to store them
Sweet corn should be eaten as quickly as possible after it's picked. In the meantime, store it in the fridge to slow down the sugar breakdown. Don't remove the husks until you're ready to cook.

Do you have any tips for cooking with sweet corn? Share them in the comments section below.

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About the Author
Amy Gordon
Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon is a Wharton graduate who prefers flip flops to business suits. She writes about travel, food, wellness, and social consciousness.

  • Sue L. 3 years ago
    I put a little sugar in the water, that brings out the sweetness even more, and drop the corn in and only let it boil for a few min, remove from heat with lid on and let it sit until I serve it.
  • Rebecca M. 3 years ago
    You can also microwave them in the husk. When you take them out (using pot holders) the husk an silk come right off. Easiest shucking I've ever experienced (silk slides right off).
  • susan m. 3 years ago
    You can serve a crowd by putting all the corn in a clean cooler, pour boiling water over it to cover and let it set for a while until ready to serve.
  • Lorrie O. 3 years ago
    I remember going to the corn fields when I lived in Iowa, picking the corn and sitting on the front porch shucking them. That was the best sweet corn around! I miss my Iowa sweet corn!!
  • Kimberly V. 3 years ago
    I'm with Jackie W Love Love Love grilled corn....
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