Corn

Ever notice that every state in the union boasts that it has the best corn? Well, they're all right. The best corn is always the corn that's grown closest to where it's sold and consumed. Corn starts to go flat the moment it's picked, so within a day of harvest, it's lost the delicate sweet flavor that makes local corn so delicious. Older corn is fine for chowders, savory puddings and other dishes where it's not called upon to carry the day.

WHEN TO BUY
July through early September

NUTRITION FACTS
Amount in 1 Serving: 2/3 cup kernels
Calories: 85
Fiber: 2.1 grams
Fat: 0.8 gram
Protein: 25 grams
A good source of: folic acid; thiamin

HOW TO GET KIDS TO TRY IT
Introduce children to corn with small pieces of cob. It's heaven for them to have a chance to eat with their hands. And a slather of butter and a sprinkle of salt won't hurt either!

HOW TO CHOOSE
An ear of corn is good if:

  • The husk fits snugly and the silk is light and moist.
  • The kernels are plump, even and perfectly aligned, not protruding or crooked.
  • The color -- whether white, pale yellow or deep yellow-- is vibrant and glossy, not dull.

HOW TO STORE

  • Reconsider. Corn doesn't keep no matter what you do.
  • Invite extra guests to help eat it all at once. Failing that:
  • Place the ears in a plastic bag and refrigerate until tomorrow.

HOW TO PREPARE

  1. Peel off the husk and silks unless you're going to microwave the corn, in which case you should strip away only the tough outer layer of husk and leave the bright green inner leaves intact.
  2. If you need raw kernels, hold the ear over a large bowl and scrape closely with a very sharp serrated knife, letting the kernels and the milk fall into the bowl.

To microwave:

  1. Remove the tough outer husk, leaving the tender light-green layer in place.
  2. Place a paper towel on the bottom of the microwave and put the ear of corn on top.
  3. Microwave at full power for 3 to 4 minutes. (Add 2 minutes for each additional ear).
  4. Let sit for 2 minutes before stripping the husk.

To boil:

  1. In a large pot, bring to boil enough water to cover the corn.
  2. Add the corn and bring the water to a second boil.
  3. Cover the pot, turn off the heat and let the corn sit for five minutes. (If you're using an electric stove, transfer the pot to an inactive burner as soon as you turn off the heat.) Remove with tongs or a large slotted spoon.
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