Summer Time Means Corn!
There are few foods that say “Summer” better than fresh corn-on-the-cob. What to do with those extra ears that remain after your backyard barbecue? Here are a few suggestions…
It’s summertime in New England, and that means corn. Throughout the summer, we bring hundreds and hundreds of ears of corn to the backyard barbecues, weddings, company picnics, reunions and other parties that we cater. That made us curious about corn.
We researched some facts about corn and learned that corn, or maize, is most sensitive to drought just as the silk begins to form on the plant, which is when the flowers are ready for pollination. Traditionally, here in the United States, we say that if the corn is “knee-high by the Fourth of July”, then there will be a good harvest. Maize used for silage is harvested while the plant is green and the fruit is still immature. Here, in New England, sweet corn is harvested in the “milk stage”, after pollination, but before starch has formed, usually between late summer and early to mid-autumn. Corn is often classified as dent corn, flint corn, flour corn, popcorn, sweet corn, waxy corn, and pod corn. The dent corn is the major type cultivated in the United States.
Maize can also be prepared as hominy, in which the kernels are soaked with lye, or as grits, which are coarsely ground hominy. These are commonly eaten in the Southeastern United States. This food dish was handed down from Native Americans, who called the dish sagamite.
Did you know: That what we call ‘corn silk’ is actually the stigmas from the female maize flowers? These corn silk are sometimes used as herbal supplements.
Did you know: Corn’s sugars start to convert to starch soon after it is picked? So, the closer you can purchase corn to the farm, the better.
Did you know: there are over 500 different uses for corn? Corn is a component of canned corn, baby food, hominy, mush, puddings, tamales, and many more human foods.
Corn is incredibly able to adapt to many various climates. For this reason, it has been able to firmly establish its place in worldwide cuisine. Corn has become an important part of sustenance in most all cultures around the world, including our own. In fact, if it weren’t for corn, the American settlers probably would have starved to death, so we owe the cob a little tip of the hat.
Corn in its simplest, freshest form is the essence of summer. We are celebrating corn’s goodness as a sweet welcome to summer! There are loads of ways to enjoy corn. We are sharing some of our favorite recipes here.
Try these recipes for your summer corn: