The History of Corn Most Europeans never heard of corn until the first settlers came to America and met the Native Americans. Before that, corn was a generic name for any cereal grain. The settlers loved this vegetable as every part of the plant could be used for something: husks are used for tamales, the silk for teas, the kernels to eat, the stalk for fodder. Plus so many products can be made from this plant too: corn flour, corn meal, corn oil, corn starch, corn syrup, bourbon and whiskey.
Corn Varieties The two most popular varieties are: White corn: smaller and sweeter kernels, Yellow corn: larger, fuller-flavored kernels.
How to Choose Corn Corn season is May through September. It is best to use the corn right after it has been picked as the sugars in corn gradually convert to starch, thus making the corn less sweet as time goes by. Ears should be bright green, tightly fitting around the cob. The silk should be a golden brown. The kernels should be plump and juicy coming all the way to the tip of the cob in tight rows.
How Do You Store Corn? Corn should be cooked as soon as it is purchased and eaten that day, but it can be stored in the refrigerator up to one day. Strip off the husk and silk immediately before cooking, and not before.
If I Have Unripened Corn, How Do I Ripen It? You cannot. Throw it away, or wait until it ripens before you pick it.
The Nutritional Qualities of Corn Corn is high in fiber, and contains iron and Vitamins A & C. A medium ear of corn contains 140 calories.
Spices for Corn chives, cilantro, cumin, dill, fennel, mace, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, saffron, savory, tarragon, thyme
Equivalency 2 medium ears of corn = 1 – 1 1/4 cups kernel 10 oz. frozen corn = 1 3/4 cups corn
Trivia The Spanish and the French feed corn to their cows and pigs in order to fatten them up for the meat industry. So, how much corn are you eating?
Suggested Wines Serve a wine that would accompanythe main dish or focus on the spices used.
ROASTED CORN ON THE COB copyright by Jennifer A. Wickes
- 4 ears of corn (white or yellow)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- fresh ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Dress ears of corn with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish and cook 45 minutes in the oven.
Yields: 4 servings