This July was a bummer for sweet corn in Indiana. Just a couple years ago, there were farm stands all over the city, with piles of corn just picked that morning. You didn’t have to wonder if it was fresh, because you knew the guy who sold it, and trusted his college age kids who were bagging it and ringing up your sale.
It’s been a bad year for Hoosier farmers. It rained so long and hard that they weren’t able to plant corn in May. Even at the first of June, the ground was still too wet. They were finally able to plant in the middle of June, but this was not good news for corn lovers. The grocery stores had sweet corn over the 4th of July, but they imported it from someplace else, and it was old and starchy.
Serving a delicious ear of corn on the cob is a two step process. First, and most important, is making sure that the corn you buy is fresh. If it’s not, don’t even bother putting it in your basket. I’m always surprised at supermarkets that sell sweet corn with dried husks and moldy tassels. More surprisingly is that people will buy it. Do they not know how good sweet corn should look, and taste? You don’t just buy sweet corn, you choose it. The husks should be green and almost damp to the touch, not dry, shriveled, or slightly yellow.
Fresh sweet corn is a heavenly treat, especially when cooked to perfection and slathered with honey butter. Once you’ve purchased your ears of corn, you must know how to cook it. Over boiling will make it hard and starchy, so it pays to use a timer. Boil between 4 and 10 minutes.