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We seem to come around to this frustrating dilemma about this time each year.

I like sweet corn, but also want to taste corn, so that balance works for me. It's not easy to find.

I've mentioned "mirai" corn before and have purchased it from Toigo, but I'm not aware if they're still growing it.

Last Sat. I finally picked up good corn at the Old Town Alexandria market that popped with flavor, sweetness and wasn't the dreaded rod o' starch that I've been encountering.

This weekend I think I'll try to swing around to the Del Ray market and give Toigo's corn a try.

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Well I actually like rather sweet corn so I don't have anything to add on where to find the unsweet kind. However, I was curious on the details of how people cook their corn. I alternate between using the grill (soaking unshucked corn for 20-45 minutes and then cook on direct heat for about 5-8 minutes on each "side" and then rotate till it is all pretty well done) and boiling in a big pot of water (usually about 3-5 minutes total). The grill this way ends up being a smokier steam and it is pretty good and especially easy when you are grilling other stuff, but I actually like the quick boil better as it seems to keep the corn juicier and fresher tasting. How do you cook your corn to perfection?

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Does anyone remember way back when corn tasted like corn and not like sugar? I suspect this will be a fruitless request, but does anyone know where to buy ears of corn that aren't super sweet?

Thanks you for this.

Like Monavano, I've enjoyed Toigo's in the past, but I seem to recall it as a late-season variety.

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How do you cook your corn to perfection?

I'm not terribly fond of corn, so I usually have it only once or twice per season. I decidedly dislike gnawing on the cob. I cut the kernels off the cob and put them in a saucepan with some butter and salt. I cook the kernels gently for a couple of minutes and often add parsley and a bit of lemon juice to serve.

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I grew up with my mom cooking corn in milky water with, wait for it--sugar! No wonder I'm fond of the sweet varieties.

I find corn to be amenable to various methods of cooking, including the aforementioned, grilling and even microwaving, because at the end of the day, it's hard to fuck up.

Sure you can scorch it and do mind the microwave cooking time because at some point, the steam separates the kernels, but corn is forgiving and while butter and salt are my staple condiments, I highly recommend Mexican "street" corn preparations and the like.

I like corn, especially on the cob, and like reading tea leaves, I often wonder what my haphazard approach (vs. typewriter) to chomping the kernels off the ears really says about me.

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How do you cook your corn to perfection?

My preferred method is shucked, on the grill. I paint the corn with olive oil (or melted butter) and season with salt and pepper, then grill over high heat. I prefer this method to leaving it in the husk as I like the char on the kernels.

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Does anyone remember way back when corn tasted like corn and not like sugar? I suspect this will be a fruitless request, but does anyone know where to buy ears of corn that aren't super sweet?

I remember being sent to the field with my cousins and running back with our arms full of corn to my Grandmother's kitchen where the water was already boiling. :) Silver Queen. The sugar used to begin to turn into starch as soon as the plant realized it had been picked, but someone got clever and figured out how to turn off that gene. Nobody has grown the old kinds for years because now you can pick them days or even weeks before heading out to sell them at the market. At the markets in Gainesville, the farmers used to put up signs telling shoppers when it had been picked. "This morning!" "Late last night!"

If you have the real estate for good pollination, Seeds of Change and a few other places still have some of the old varietals.

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I swear I can taste the difference between Maryland corn and Virginia corn, at least that grown in Western Maryland. I am sure it is just me having memories that create tastes. We just always knew someone we could drive onto their land and pick some. I really only buy corn when I get it at a roadside stand by the side of a farm on a more rural road or if someone gives it to me from their garden.

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I always liked corn, but fell in love with it the first time I had Silver Queen.

Silver Queen is far from the sweetest on the market these days, it seems to me.

It seems odd to think that there's one single way to cook corn to perfection.

Among the ways we serve it is this (discovered and favored by Mrs.B. ) corn "pudding" with lime and cayenne (but no milk or eggs). we used 18 ears to cook for eight the other night, but the season is early so the yield is low. And grating corn is the perfect task for friends who ask "can I help?" but whose cooking skills are suspect.

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Does anyone remember way back when corn tasted like corn and not like sugar? I suspect this will be a fruitless request, but does anyone know where to buy ears of corn that aren't super sweet?

Age it!

For most varieties, if you let it sit on your counter for a few days, in the husks, stacked (more heat), the sugars convert to starch, something like 25 - 40% every 24 hours. The fridge stops the conversion process.

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My preferred method is shucked, on the grill. I paint the corn with olive oil (or melted butter) and season with salt and pepper, then grill over high heat. I prefer this method to leaving it in the husk as I like the char on the kernels.

How long do you cook it over the high heat grill? A couple of minutes per side? I may try this tonight

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How long do you cook it over the high heat grill? A couple of minutes per side? I may try this tonight

My preferred method is shucked, on the grill. I paint the corn with olive oil (or melted butter) and season with salt and pepper, then grill over high heat. I prefer this method to leaving it in the husk as I like the char on the kernels.

I do a hybrid...remove the silks, leave the husks, soak for 15 minutes, grill on medium about 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Then I take off the husks and grill it for a minute or two on each side. You end up with the smokiness from the husks and a nice char as well.

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The grills are out of commission while we're having the deck modified and rebuilt, so I've been making roasted corn with zucchini in the oven lately, tossed in olive oil and paprika before going on a baking sheet into a 400 deg oven for 20 minutes. If it's not "roasty" enough, you can use smoked Spanish paprika, but I prefer plain old sweet Hungarian.

This is really just the first half of this recipe replacing frozen with fresh local corn I cut from the cob...only we never seem to get to the actual quesadilla assembly step before the spoons come out.

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I enjoyed growing up on that fine edge between far out suburbia and "farm country", across the road from a farm that grew both silver queen and feed corn.  It was my job to walk over to the farm stand and pick up a dozen ears on Saturday morning (I don't think it ever cost more than 75 cents a dozen), shuck them there at the farm (to feed the cows and to keep the mess out of my Mother's kitchen) and to walk the fresh corn back home.  I still think that's what corn is supposed to taste like, and I still prefer to buy corn off the back of a truck by the side of the road than from a grocery store.

As to cooking, I was always taught to cover the ears with cold water, bring to a boil for a minute or two, then turn off the heat and cover the pot to let the corn finish cooking.  Mom usually added a few tablespoons of milk and a spoon or two of sugar to the pot.  Along the way I picked up the very weird habit of taking a sharp knife down the center of the rows on the cob.  Not taking the corn off the cob, just slicing down the center of each row to split the corn.  It is "supposed" to make the corn come off the cob easier.  Not sure it actually does anything, but I still do it every time.

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How long do you cook it over the high heat grill? A couple of minutes per side? I may try this tonight

Sorry, just saw this. Yeah, I usually go about three minutes or so per side (I flip it three times or so) depending on how hot the coals are. It gets more of a charred flavor into the corn, which I enjoy.  You basically want to turn it when you have some char, but before you've completely blackened the entire side of the ear.

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An interesting article from the New York Times nine years ago about how no commercial growers in the mid-Atlantic region actually grow Silver Queen, although some corn that gets sold is falsely labelled that.

Catering to consumers' preconceptions, a few roadside stands and grocery stores still occasionally advertise Silver Queen. But James Lewis, an agricultural extension agent in Caroline County, deep in corn country, told me: ''I can't name a single grower in this area who still grows it commercially. If one told me he was, he'd have to produce the bag of seed to convince me. In backyard gardens maybe, but not on farms. It's no longer in the seed catalogs.''

Has this changed since 2004?

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An interesting article from the New York Times nine years ago about how no commercial growers in the mid-Atlantic region actually grow Silver Queen, although some corn that gets sold is falsely labelled that.

Has this changed since 2004?

No.  I was at a stand on the Eastern Shore last summer, and they had some corn labeled "Silver Queen."  I mentioned that I knew that was one of the old types that has the sugar turning to starch issue, and the vendor told me it was really Silver King, a variety bred for sugar retention, but nobody knows what that is, so they label it with something recognizable.

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The bicolor local corn (central Ohio) has been delightful year, and plentiful. Last night we brushed some commercial black pepper olive oil mayonnaise on the shucked corn and grilled it. Delicious. My Ohio born partner, who always uses butter on corn, said the mayo was better than butter. We grilled three extra ears and today I will cut the kernels off the cobs to make a corn relish.

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I do not like very sweet corn either, but I do like Silver Queen. For the past few years, I have come to really prefer grill my corn and to dress it the Mexican/Soutwestern way,  by squeezing lime on it and sprinkling it with good chili powder instead of the old butter/salt. 

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I do not like very sweet corn either, but I do like Silver Queen. For the past few years, I have come to really prefer grill my corn and to dress it the Mexican/Soutwestern way,  by squeezing lime on it and sprinkling it with good chili powder instead of the old butter/salt. 

Thanks to all of these great corn ideas here, I've been trying to branch out, but due to combination of no time and reluctance from my fellow eaters, we have mostly been sticking to our tried and true (boring?) methods. I did find a few seconds though recently to grab a lime wedge and squeeze that on fresh steam-grilled, husk on corn and it was delightful. Really adds an interesting contrast of acid to the sweet corn. And better yet, you can do it without any special prep and on an individual basis (darn less adventuresome eaters  ;)).

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I did find a few seconds though recently to grab a lime wedge and squeeze that on fresh steam-grilled, husk on corn and it was delightful.

Corn and lime is one of those flavor combinations that just work together magically. It's more than just the acid. Lemon juice isn't nearly as good. Try zesting a bit of the lime peel--it's the lime oil in the peel that lifts it up to heaven.
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Saw a new-to-me food truck, La Tingaria, in Ballston for lunch today.  They seemed to be doing authentic mexican tacos/tostada, etc and had a long line. However, I also saw they had elote loco - crazy corn. This was my first time trying this traditional, messy corn prep - where the corn is cooked, then covered with mayo, queso blanco, and lime-chili seasoning.  Unfortunately, it disappointed - maybe because the corn wasn't real hot or just the mayo wasn't to my taste - but as I ate it I realized I was enjoying the bites with less coating.  When I did get stronger bites of the lime-chili seasoning that was interesting, but not a wow factor.  I didn't try anything else at the truck so I can't comment on it - I opted for my main course to get the excellent native american fusion taco with chicken again from the Urban Bumpkin BBQ truck parked nearby. 

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Finally got mirai from Toigo at Dupont on Sunday. This corn is in a class by itself. As I remembered, it actually tastes of corn, is slightly sweet and each individual kernel pops with juice.

Get it while you can- a dozen for $8.

I also bought super sweet white from Quaker Valley and it is also delicious, although just a tad starchy, but that's a minor quibble as I'm comparing it to the mirai. $5/dozen.

It's a good day to make cheddar corn chowder  :wub:

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I love corn (though I, too, prefer to enjoy it off the cob - years of braces will do that to you), and I have wonderful memories of going to the farmstand in New York with my grandma and getting enough late-season corn and tomatoes to make a meal out of.  My dad, to this day, swears that there is no corn as delicious as New York corn.

These days, this is my favorite corn preparation: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Roasted-Corn-with-Manchego-Lime-366724

I agree that corn and lime go deliciously together.  This recipe adds richness from cheese and spice from jalapenos, and it is always a huge hit when I serve it at dinner parties.  I usually make double, because my gosh is this good in a breakfast burrito the next morning.

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http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/emerils-corn-pudding-recipe/index.html is the link to Emeril's corn pudding which is the polar opposite of the one linked above.  This is time consuming.  I've made it almost every Thanksgiving and Christmas for 15 or more years.  It is one of the single best dishes that Emeril ever created.

If you make it use fresh corn (4 ears or so) and scrape the cobs for their milk.  I also grate the Reggiano.

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Does anyone remember way back when corn tasted like corn and not like sugar?  I suspect this will be a fruitless request, but does anyone know where to buy ears of corn that aren't super sweet?

Thanks you for this. 

And, of course, it took Pop Waitman, our salty colonel with his guileless gumption - to be all ears: not just willing to "get" the corny pun, but to subsidize its forced existence, as Husker Dew drops in, seasoning the maze.

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I've had great corn from two sources this summer- Twin Springs Farm and Toigo. The Toigo corn has been discussed already but the Twin Springs bicolor is just as good. They only sell it at markets where they are the organizers and bring additional items from their neighbors. Definitely check it out- it is fantastic. It is definitely on the sweet side but it doesn't taste like candy corn, it has some solid corn flavor behind it.  Comparable price to Toigo, $7.75 a dozen, worth it.

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Damn, I love corn and have been super market buying it for months.  Gonna start hitting the farmers markets in August.  Frankly I enjoy corn and lemon...very freshening.  Corn and lime even better.  I think I'll do up the recipe referenced by bettyjoan.  I'm actually getting a "jones" for corn hitting the farmer's markets.

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I favor putting lime and hot sauce on my ears of corn, with salt. I was turned on to the lime/hot sauce combination about 10 yrs ago by none other than the King 'o Dieselbilly, Bill Kirchen, the Telecaster Master himself. He was playing solo at the old Reston Farm Market when it was right on Rt. 7, where a gas station now stands. They were giving out corn, and he happened to be taking a break to get himself an ear.

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That sounds like a good combo.  A spicy lime sauce/marinade also works for grilled shrimp.  I haven't done it in a long time but I remember it being good.  I also have good memories of Bill Kirchen, having heard him countless times at the old Twist & Shout club in Bethesda.

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I cut kernels of 10 ears of corn. Half went into a corn and tomato salad with a basil dressing. I then made a stock out of the cobs and used the other half of the kernels for a corn soup. The soup was easy....onions and peppers sautéed, then a little flour to make a roux, add in corn stock, boil. I then added the kernels, cooked for a while, and blended with an immersion blender. It wasn't the silky corn soup of fine dining dreams, but it had pure summer corn flavor. I am not a vegan, but this would be great as part of a vegan meal,

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