Food - Picking Fresh Corn

Let's be honest. There is nothing in the summer time like a good hot dog, hamburger and some fresh corn on the cob. Unfortunately, with the large number of farms going out of business because of rising costs, it's hard to find a farm close by to get your fresh picked corn. Fortunately, supermarkets are aware of this and are all competing with each other to get the freshest corn possible. The question is, how can you tell if an ear of corn is fresh and how do you keep it fresh? The answers may surprise you unless you're experienced with this sort of thing. Hopefully though, by the time you're done reading this article, you'll know exactly how to pick a fresh ear of corn and how to keep it fresh once you get it home.

For starters, the first thing you have to know is that corn does not stay fresh very long. So the first thing you want to do is make sure you don't buy your corn until the day you plan on cooking it. That way you are sure to have the freshest corn possible. Of course, that doesn't mean that the corn you find in the supermarket is going to be fresh. So how can you tell?

Most people think they have to open up the corn and look at it to see if it is fresh or check the outside husk. Actually, neither of these methods is a sure fire way to tell. For one thing, the husk, which should be green, is often times removed by the supermarket so there is no way to tell by that method. As far as looking at the corn itself, well, as soon as you start removing the husk, the corn starts to lose its freshness. No, there is only one sure fire way to tell if an ear of corn is fresh and that is by the tassel at the end of it. If the tassel is soft and silky then the corn is fresh. It's that simple. If it's starting to get hard and brittle or if it has been removed, then it is not fresh.

Okay, so you've found your fresh corn at the supermarket. The problem you now face is how to keep it fresh once you've brought it home. Well, actually, this is quite simple. For one thing, you don't want to open up the husk at all, at least not until you're ready to cook it. Once you get home, put on a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. While the water is getting ready to boil do not remove the husk from the corn. Wait until the water is boiled and then remove the husk. After you have done this, place the corn in the boiling water. Once you do this, the water will stop boiling. The final question is how long to cook the corn for. This is again, very simple. You leave the corn in the water for about 3 to 5 minutes. No longer.

By doing this, you are sure to pick not only the freshest but the sweetest corn possible. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't matter if the corn is yellow or white. It is not the color of the corn that determines sweetness. It is how fresh it is because the sugar in corn that is not fresh turns to starch and that is why corn that isn't fresh is also not sweet.

Hope these tips help you in picking the freshest and sweetest corn possible.

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About The Author, Michael Russell
Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Food