It’ll be knee high by July—and in our bellies soon after. Honest Cooking explores the summer’s most treasured vegetable.
By Maya Dangerfield
What About It
There’s nothing that corn can’t do! The overachiever of the produce world, corn’s ingrained itself in all aspects of our modern life. It’s in everything from syrup to plastics, it holds our crayons and cakes together, and powers our cars. Valedictorian of the agricultural world, corn makes its way onto our plates as Honest Cooking explores this summertime favorite.
Native to North America corn is a long cylindrical plant with kernels that attach to the cob. Corn comes in a variety of colors—blue, white, red, and purple— and whose size ranges between six to eleven inches. Corn has a variety of tastes, from super sweet to mildly bitter. Browsing through the grocery store you’ll likely stumble across the popular, super sweet variety which comes in all colors. Corn has undergone thousands of modifications (both natural and man-made) since its domestication 8700 years ago and the trend toward sweeter varieties began in the 19th century. Not feeling sweetened corn? Browse the local farmers markets for alternate corn varieties. In temperate climates corn is planted in the spring (March-April) and typically harvested by late summer/early fall (August-October). However, as one of our longest and versatile domesticated species corn is now grown in a wide range of environments.
What to Do With It
No need to strip an entire ear of corn to find the perfect cob. Simply look for an ear with a brown, sticky tassle (the silky top that’s partially enclosed by the husk) and feel the length of the ear for soft, damaged or missing kernels. Corn is relatively durable after harvesting and can be stored in the fridge for days. While young ears can be consumed raw, corn is typically grilled, sauteed or boiled before consuming.
Looking for the latest corn recipe? Honest Cooking has you covered with these corn inspired favorites
Stir-Fry Corn with Basil and Leeks
Thai-Styled Crispy Corn Fritter
A recovering teacher and editorial intern for Honest Cooking, Maya began her journalism career at Greatist.com. A food lover who never misses dessert, she is also a passionate sports enthusiast. Currently Maya freelances for FoodmakerMedia and copywrites for Techturized. Her writing has been published for Greatist.com, Shape.com, and The Washington Post.