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Corn varieties and uses


nakji
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So I was reading this series of recipes and thinking, "Mmm, yellow corn".

Growing up, we always ate "Peaches and Cream" variety off the cob, as it seemed like it was all growers sold in our area. But lately, "yellow" corn (not sure of the varietal) has come back into fashion for eating off the cob. Last summer, the elusive "Silver Queen" was also available at farm stands, which we ate briefly boiled, with butter.

For cooking, however, it seems most commercial frozen/canned corn is yellow.

To make matters more interesting, in Asia, I see a lot of a purple-and-white varietal that are quite starchy, along with the straight-up yellow kind. The yellow kind is used for cooking, while the purple-and-white is steamed for snacking off the cob.

What kinds of corn do you have access to in your area? And do you use the varieties for different purposes?

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You would know if you tried to eat "cow corn." Only did so once, when an old uncle bought some "really cheap" corn ... tough, strong-tasting, not at all palatable. No wonder Europeans think we are nuts for eating corn on the cob since all they grow is cow corn. When we still had Canadian Forces bases in Germany, the PX would contract with a local farmer to grow sweet corn to sell to service families.

Edited to add: Most of the corn we get here in coastal B.C. is the increasingly sweet bi-color varieties, but once in awhile one can find yellow corn, which I like for a change ... it has a more "corny" taste which is how corn used to be.

Edited by Just loafing (log)
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When I was a child visiting Grandma down on the farm, sometimes the uncles would run out in the cornfield across the road for "roasting ears"--field corn picked early enough to be edible. I remember loving it, but that was mostly because the ears were huge--a foot long or so--and we could have as many as we wanted, because they were "free".

I grow Bodacious, Peaches and Cream and Candy Corn--all of them sweet, but not that cloying sweet stuff that tastes more like corn syrup than corn. They are SE (sugar enhanced) not the SH type.

sparrowgrass
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It seems all the markets and even the farmers markets here in Los Angeles only have that really sweet white corn available. Oh there are the chi chi markets where the "famous" chefs shop and they may have more variety but I don;t venture over to the "West side". The kernels are really tender and small. Personally not my thing. There is a local farm stand that sells a sweet yellow corn and they separate out the younger and older ears. I get the older more yellow ears with the larger (and slightly tougher) kernels and relish the super corny taste.

I have seen the white and purple corn sold from steaming bowls in the Korean market. It looks really starchy. May have to give it a whirl one of these days.

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I grow Bodacious, Peaches and Cream and Candy Corn--all of them sweet, but not that cloying sweet stuff that tastes more like corn syrup than corn. They are SE (sugar enhanced) not the SH type.

Do you eat it all off the cob, or do you cook with it as well?

I have seen the white and purple corn sold from steaming bowls in the Korean market. It looks really starchy. May have to give it a whirl one of these days.

I'm pretty sure this is field corn, since the examples I've eaten of it in China and Korea are incredibly tough and starchy, without a hint of sweetness.

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Nakji, I eat a lot of it right out of the garden, steamed or grilled on the cob. I freeze some for winter, cutting it off the cob, and I generally just salt and butter it. It is so good that way, that I have never thought about doing anything else with it.

sparrowgrass
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I like this stuff...

2010_07_04 Corn.jpg

Don't know what it's called, but this is from a green market vendor from Connecticut, and it was the best corn I've had in about the last 5 years. Sweet, juicy, corny. Farm somewhere up near Hartford, and they must be having the greatest growing conditions in a long time.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Are those white and yellow kernels, Mitch?

Nakji, I eat a lot of it right out of the garden, steamed or grilled on the cob. I freeze some for winter, cutting it off the cob, and I generally just salt and butter it. It is so good that way, that I have never thought about doing anything else with it.

I made a great stir-fry with some last month using sweet corn, from the "Beyond the Great Wall" cookbook. It's a nice change if you ever (is it possible?) get sick of corn on the cob.

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This time of year I like silver queen. I cut the kernels off the cob and then "milk" the cobs with the spine of the knife. I put all that in a hot cast iron skillet with some butter (goat butter is delicious for this). Towards the end of the cooking I add a little water that mixes with the expelled starch and makes a little bit of sauce that adds moisture to the overall dish.

We always called this "fried corn" and it is my favorite thing in the world to eat during the summer.

Edited by BadRabbit (log)
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