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Montana Sweet Corn: Why Local Is Better

Corn by user freeimage4life via Flickr
Corn by user freeimage4life via Flickr
Corn by user freeimage4life via Flickr

Today, The Food Guys discuss an unusually delicious type of grass: corn. All "sweet" corn isn't equally sweet or flavorful, as you'll discover the minute you bite into an ear of locally-grown corn.

Corn on the cob from a Montana supermarket can be a disappointing taste experience, because corn travels poorly, and a lot of the stuff arrives here from far away. "If you put enough butter and salt on anything, it'll taste good," observes Food Guy Greg Patent.

Try some locally-grown sweet corn right now, while it's in season, and you'll never view corn in the same way.

To cook corn, boil a big pot of water to boil, without adding any salt. Strip the husks and silk, plunge the ears into the water, cover the pot, and turn off the heat. It'll be ready to eat in less than one minute. Magically, if you're not ready for it immediately, the corn can sit in that hot water for up to twenty minutes without getting overcooked.

Corn salad is nearly as simple as boiling corn: cut the raw kernels off the cob, cook them briefly to remove their rawness, then dress the corn any way you like. Voila: tasty, crunchy salad.

You can make corn chowder with potatoes and corn; there's no need to add cream or bacon. Use broth or water to cook the potatoes; cut the kernals from the cob; flavor the chowder with some thyme and chopped parsley; and serve it with bread.

Corn kernels last for some time in the fridge. Sprinkle them into omelettes, soups, or salads.

A corn soufflé is a delicious use of locally-grown corn. To create a base, sauté the kernels with jalapeño peppers and shallots, then add whipped egg whites and bake.

(Broadcast: "The Food Guys," 8/19/18. Listen weekly on the radio at 11:50 a.m. Sundays, or via podcast.)


Greg Patent is co-host of The Food Guys on Montana Public Radio. He won the Pillsbury bake-off when he was 19 years old. His cookbook, Baking in America, won the 2003 James Beard Award for best baking book of the year.
Jon Jackson is co-host of The Food Guys and a frequent guest on Jazz Sessions at Montana Public Radio. He is a mystery writer and jazz music expert with a passion for great food.
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