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Here are some tips to remember when choosing the freshest sweet corn.
Nashville, Ark. – During July, we enjoy fresh produce from our gardens and one of
my favorites is fresh corn. Whether you put it on the grill or cooked to perfection
on the cob, nothing is better than biting into an ear of fresh sweet corn. If you
have corn growing in your garden, chances are you have picked it or you are getting
ready to harvest it soon. If you must rely on choosing fresh ears of corn at the grocery
store or Farmers Market, there are some tricks to picking the best ears.
If you want the freshest sweet corn, look for ones with silks that are
brown and dry, the tips of the ears should be full. To check the corn, pull back the
husks at the end of the ears and make sure the kernels are filled out. High quality
corn has tender kernels that are milky and well developed. Kernels should be large
enough to be compact on the cob with no space between the rows.
For best quality, the corn should be in the milk stage, which means the
corn is at its sweetest. If a kernel is broken, you should see white milk. If there
is no liquid, the ear is past its prime and the kernels will be tough and doughy.
For maximum sweetness, corn should be enjoyed as soon as it is picked.
If sweet corn cannot be eaten right away, leave it in the husks, remove the shanks
and store uncovered in the refrigerator for no longer than 5 days.
If it is necessary to refrigerate for later use, cool rapidly to below
40ºF to retain sweetness and tenderness because the sugar in corn turns to starch
quickly at higher temperatures. For storage past 5 days, preserve the corn by freezing,
canning or drying. The Cooperative Extension Service has detailed instructions for
preserving corn safely. You can contact me at 870-845-7517 or visit my office on the
second floor of the courthouse. I’ll be glad to share this information with you.
When looking to buy fresh corn from the Farmers Market or a roadside stand,
ask when it was picked. Corn picked early in the morning is the best. As it sits in
the sun, sugar starts to convert to starch affecting the flavor. Hot temperatures
will definitely affect the flavor.
Sweet corn is a great source of potassium, magnesium and fiber. It also
contains folate, which may reduce your risk of heart disease. Eating foods with folate
before pregnancy helps in brain development of the fetus.
To prepare fresh corn, pull the husks down and snap off the stem at the
base of the ear. To remove silk, rub the ear in a circular direction under cold running
water or use a vegetable brush.
Grilled corn is delicious and easy to prepare. Remove the silks and husks
and season the ears with olive oil and dried herbs. Herbs like thyme, paprika, chives,
lemon balm, garlic powder and pepper bring out the flavor of corn. You can wrap the
ears in aluminum foil or grill directly on the grill.
For more information on preserving foods safely or increasing fresh vegetables
in your diet, contact the Howard County Extension Office.
Enjoy fresh corn on the cob cooked on the grill. Here are the instructions.
8 ears of corn, silk removed
1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil
½ cup margarine, melted
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon crushed rosemary
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons pepper
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Combine all the ingredients, except corn in a small bowl. Brush mixture
on ears of corn. Wrap ears in aluminum foil. Grill for about 20 to 30 minutes, turning
frequently. Remove from the grill and check for doneness. If needed, cook an additional
5 to 10 minutes.
Note: If you would like to grill in the husks, pull back the husks and remove the
silks. Wash the ear well and pull husk back to top. Soak the ears in cold water for
1 to 3 hours. Drain the corn well and pull back husk and pat dry. Season with mixture.
Pull the husks back up on the corn, and tie the top of the husks, or twist tightly
By Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff ChairThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff Chair U of A Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service 421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852 (870) 845-7517 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.