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imoldernu 08-21-2013 12:50 PM

Raw Corn
 
We often go through life, never knowing about things that others take for granted... "Oh!... I thought everyone knew that!"

So it took until this year for us to discover the joy of fresh, uncooked (raw) sweet corn.

I'd suppose farmers always knew about this fantastic sparkly taste delight, but we lived as city folk, and raw corn sounded like eating raw potatoes. Not so... A fresh ear of early sweet corn is better than any fruit, when the juices burst into the mouth.

We go for multi colored ears...called Salt and Pepper, or as New Englanders..,. Sugar and Butter.

We strip the ear, and break it into 2 or three pieces, and chomp!... No salt, no nothing. A gourmet delight.

In our area of centrol Ilinois, the corn crop looks to be fantastic. The stalks are reaching to 8 feet, and the ears of corn are very large. As a commodity, corn has come down from last years $7 price to about $4.60 today. If the weather continues, it should be a banner crop year.

So... does anyone else eat corn on the cob... raw?

http://www.thekitchn.com/summer-tip-...et-corn-154850

LOL! 08-21-2013 01:00 PM

I went to farmers picnic in Iowa. The men were quiet, but the women were talking about how tall the corn in their husbands' field was: 10 ft! 10 and a half! 11 feet!

They also tell the story of the city slickers stopping and running into the cornfields to get some ears. They just laugh because the corn grown there is for hogs and maybe popcorn. It ain't sweet at all.

When I lived in Nebraska, we didn't have all this genetically engineered corn, so we boiled a pot of water in the cornfield and just bent the stalks so that the ears would cook without detaching them. That way the enzymes which broke down the sugars would not have a chance to act.

Another trick to make it sweet instead of sugar is to use corn syrup.

I don't eat it raw.

pb4uski 08-21-2013 01:05 PM

Steamed with butter and a little salt for me. Though I have had raw and it is good.

Once the season starts we seem to have corn almost every night until it ends.

BIL suggested cooking for 1-2 minutes and then freezing. I think I'll try it.

ERD50 08-21-2013 01:05 PM

I've had it, but never as part of a meal, just a little snack while walking the fields. It is good, but I prefer cooked (not over-cooked!) with butter, salt, pepper.

I lived on a family farm for a while, and we had a sweet corn stand. I'm spoiled for fresh corn. My definition of 'fresh' is different from 99.9% of people.

We would pick corn throughout the day, to keep it fresh for the stand and to avoid picking too much. We never held corn over-night, anything not sold that day went to the cattle. We did not consider day old corn to be 'fresh'.

And when it was dinner time, if the corn at the stand had been picked 2-3 hours ago, we would go back into the field to get 'fresh' corn for ourselves. No 3 hour old corn for us! And trust me, teenagers that spent part of the day picking corn were not that anxious to go back and do more of it, but we thought it was worth it.

The sweet corn today is bred to hold up a little better it seems. We can get 'pretty good' corn even at supermarkets. But you need to get it from the local farmer for the next level.

Another thing - and I'm not really up on the different varieties anymore, but different strains really have very different flavors and mouth-feel, which is part of the great experience of fresh corn on the cob. Some of the sweetest varieties can seem a bit mushy to bite into. Some, a bit less sweet, but still plenty sweet when fresh, will have a very crisp feel - they jump into your mouth as you bite them off the cob.

It's a little like apples - some of the crisp ones lack flavor, the flavorful ones are sometimes a bit mushy.

Hmmm, sweet corn, grilled steak, fresh tomato/cucumber salad, and a couple pints of really good beer. Now that is summer!

-ERD50

pb4uski 08-21-2013 01:09 PM

+1 on fresh. I once sold corn from a roadside stand for some family friends who farm when I was in college. In our case we picked mid morning and sold that afternoon. It was fun. Sometimes if I was bored I would lay on the farmer drawl a little thick.

We have a farmstand nearby and usually get it daily (picked earlier that day similar to what you describe).

ERD50 08-21-2013 01:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LOL! (Post 1351078)
I went to farmers picnic in Iowa. The men were quiet, but the women were talking about how tall the corn in their husbands' field was: 10 ft! 10 and a half! 11 feet!

The corn crop is great this year, plenty of rain around here. Last year was a disaster. Corn was cut to use the stalks as roughage feed, there weren't enough cobs forming to make a harvest worthwhile.

Quote:

They also tell the story of the city slickers stopping and running into the cornfields to get some ears. They just laugh because the corn grown there is for hogs and maybe popcorn. It ain't sweet at all.
Actually, if you catch field corn at just the right time, and I mean to the day, it can be 'alright'. Not great, but not terrible. I've had worse stuff served to me that they called 'sweet corn' (it was, field corn has much larger ears - this was just bad/old sweet corn).

Quote:

When I lived in Nebraska, we didn't have all this genetically engineered corn, so we boiled a pot of water in the cornfield and just bent the stalks so that the ears would cook without detaching them. That way the enzymes which broke down the sugars would not have a chance to act.
I've always wanted to do that, just to say I did. I don't know how much the enzymes break down the sugars in the ten minutes from field to pot, but I'd like to find out.

Quote:

Another trick to make it sweet instead of sugar is to use corn syrup.
I've never done that. It doesn't seem right to me. If the corn isn't fresh/sweet, it is starchy tasting. Adding sugar won't make it taste fresher or less starchy I don't think.

If the corn isn't great, I'll try it Mexican style - butter (or mayo is common), lemon/lime juice, salt, ground hot pepper or hot sauce. With all that flavor, the corn doesn't need to be so great, it's still enjoyable, but a very different dish.


-ERD50

RockyMtn 08-21-2013 02:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by imoldernu (Post 1351070)
We often go through life, never knowing about things that others take for granted... "Oh!... I thought everyone knew that!"


We go for multi colored ears...called Salt and Pepper, or as New Englanders..,. Sugar and Butter.

Here we call multicolored ears Peaches and Cream

RockyMtn 08-21-2013 02:08 PM

Prefer mine cooked, lathered in butter and covered in Crazy Jane's Mixed up salt!

Jack_Pine 08-21-2013 02:34 PM

I like it cooked but eat it raw when I can it. Did 10 quarts last weekend and will do 10 more this weekend.

It's a ton of work but great in the winter time.........

veremchuka 08-21-2013 02:35 PM

I have tasted it raw before and it is ok but I prefer it steamed. Bending over the stalk and boiling it on the plant may be be a joke. How much time does it take to pick and shuck it if you are going to cook it in the field? 30 seconds 15 seconds? I doubt sugars change is that time frame.

MRG 08-21-2013 02:40 PM

I've had my own home grown fresh corn that I had straight from the garden, delicious. At a young age I was introduced to taking a salt shaker to the garden for 'fresh' tomatoes. I should have figured the corn thing earlier.

MRG

Jack_Pine 08-21-2013 05:45 PM

I just had to add.......someone taught me to cook the corn in the mic with all the husk on. I do 6 ears for about 12 minutes. Remove them and cut the thick end. Then squeeze the thin end and the ear pops out (I use a hot pad to hold it) and no silk.

It's works great and only way we cook it anymore....

GrayHare 08-21-2013 05:57 PM

Never tried raw corn on the cob but it sounds interesting. Does it reduce the number of toothpicks or floss needed afterward?

calmloki 08-21-2013 05:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jack_Pine (Post 1351210)
I just had to add.......someone taught me to cook the corn in the mic with all the husk on. I do 6 ears for about 12 minutes. Remove them and cut the thick end. Then squeeze the thin end and the ear pops out (I use a hot pad to hold it) and no silk.

It's works great and only way we cook it anymore....

Ditto - learned that trick last year and it works great - and no silk!

Shucking Corn--Clean Ears Everytime - YouTube

calmloki 08-21-2013 06:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LOL! (Post 1351078)
...

When I lived in Nebraska, we didn't have all this genetically engineered corn, so we boiled a pot of water in the cornfield and just bent the stalks so that the ears would cook without detaching them. That way the enzymes which broke down the sugars would not have a chance to act. ...

I don't eat it raw.

Sounds like how we do brook trout - just build a big fire to heat some rocks, dam up the crick and throw the hot rocks in - perfectly poached, and a good chance of some crawdads too! .....

steelyman 08-21-2013 06:09 PM

The corn here is.truly impressive this year as opposed to last yeat's sad situation.

Every year around this time (a little later) there is a corn festival downtown. There are going to be some happy campers/eaters!

JOHNNIE36 08-21-2013 06:59 PM

Being from Ohio originally and then Michigan, I love fresh corn. Someone posted and I agree that we always called the combo yellow/white corn "peaches and cream". My all time favorite is "Silver Queen", the sweetest white corn ever.

Along time ago I belonged to a golf league and we would have about three cookouts a year after our round of golf. Grilled hamburgers, bowls of sliced tomatoes and onions....and then, a big vat of boiling water, silver queen corn and another big pot of melted butter. Grab an ear from the boiling water with tongs, dunk it into the melted butter and you were good to go. Days long gone but still remembered.

Tadpole 08-21-2013 07:40 PM

I love it raw. And, yes, Silver Queen (the white of my youth). But it must be fresh picked blistering ears. Older ears get starchy and day old (or even a little older if in the heat) are best for the cows.

I was bicycling in PA once and ran into a farm with fresh picked produce. I bought some corn and ate it on the spot. The farmer said he had never tried raw corn. Unbelievable!

powerplay 08-21-2013 07:42 PM

This thread is making me hungry and thinking about going up to my community garden to harvest a couple ears of corn tonight.

I have eaten raw corn out in the field before and thought it was delicious!

ERD50 08-21-2013 07:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by calmloki (Post 1351218)
Ditto - learned that trick last year and it works great - and no silk!

Shucking Corn--Clean Ears Everytime - YouTube

I have had microwaved corn-on-the-cob before, and it has been good. But I found it to be too variable. Hot spots, cool spots, and hard to check as it is cooking.

And like some comments pointed out - 2 ears/8 minutes is fine for two, but if you are feeding 4 or more that will take some time.

We just boil, ~ 4 minutes, then start testing. I can get a good idea by look and by sticking a fork in it to get a feel for how much resistance you get, but the real test is to pull one, run some cold water over the tip and take a bite.

I usually exclaim - mmmmm, 37 more seconds, a quick rinse and 'my cob' goes back in the pot (boiling kills any germs!).

And you have to do a quick run of some cold water over the cobs to stop the cooking. There will be plenty of heat left in the center to keep it warm. You do not want over-cooked, mushy sweet corn.

I can tell fresh corn when I see it, but it's hard to describe. The silk looks a certain way, the husks look a certain way. Notice how the husks that came out at an angle in that video were kind of stiff, and held their form. That's fresh. Otherwise they are kind of limp.

When we picked corn in the field, I always had to pull the husk back an inch or so to be sure the cob was full and ripened enough. My Dad could just look at them, give them a feel, and he'd always be right (I checked, trying to 'catch' him messing up!). It's kind of an art form.

Pasta tonight, no corn! But we have had excellent corn a couple times this week already.

-ERD50


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