The Mayan, Aztec and Inca Indians revered corn so much that they prayed to a Corn Goddess. The pilgrims survived their first New England winter thanks to corn. Nowadays, corn on the cob is a beloved summertime treat.
Corn is known as a human inventionit won't grow in the wild, it needs to be sown and harvested, but it does grow prodigiously. The grain originated in Mexico and South America, today it's grown worldwide.
A..maizing For You
Corn is loaded with fiber. It's also a good source of vitamin C and folate. Keep your corn cooldon't leave it in hot car trunks or on sun-drenched kitchen counters. Keeping it chilled helps to preserve the vitamin C.
Pick Up Your Ears
Choose corn that feels heavy for its size. Look for fresh-looking corn silk tassels and well-filled-out ears. The kernels should be plump and full of milky juice. Pop one and see. If the kernel is juicy but not milky, it's under ripe and if it yields no juice at all, it's past its peak. The white varieties of corn tend to be sweeter and more tender, while yellow varieties have a fuller corn flavor.
How to Store
It's best to eat corn right after it's been harvested. When it lingers, corn's natural sugar turns into starch and the sweetness fades. Ideally, purchase your corn and eat it in the same day. But if it's not on tonight's menu, corn will keep for a day or two in the refrigerator. Store it in a plastic bag. Don't shuck your corn until you're ready to cook it.
How to Cook
There are many schools of thought on how to cook corn, but they all agree on one pointit doesn't take longabout three minutes in simmering hot water. Also, don't salt the pot. It draws moisture from the kernels, making them tough and hard to chew. Adding a little sugar or honey to the water brings out the sweetness in the ears, however with some of today's super sweet varieties it can push the sugariness over the top.
Actually, there's nothing funny about matching corn with these foodsit's all in good taste. Basil, cayenne, cheese (especially Feta and Parmesan), chiles, chives, cilantro, garlic, green peppers, lemons, limes and scallions all partner well with corn.
Instead of coating your corn in butter, try squeezing lime juice on it. The tartness of the lime really brings out the sweet flavor of the corn. It's a delicious, low fat alternative.
Celebrate corn with these FoodFit recipes:
Corn and Avocado Relish
Corn and Crab Chowder
Corn and Shell Bean Succotash
Bob Kinkead, Kinkead's, Washington, DC
Broiled Salmon with Sizzle of Corn and Tomatoes
Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chipotle and Lime Juice
Lobster, Mango and Corn Salad in Watermelon and Grapefruit Vinaigrette
Gregory Talmont, Opus, Naples, FL