Selecting Corn

End-of-summer corn is by far the best ear in town. Although you can find good-tasting corn year-round, many out-of-season ears aren't worth eating.

ear of corn
Corn kernels should be plump and tightly packed on the cob.

When buying fresh corn, be sure it was delivered in cold storage -- as temperatures rise, the natural sugar in corn turns to starch, and the corn loses some sweetness. Corn is best eaten within a day or two of picking. Corn husks should be green and have visible kernels that are plump and tightly packed on the cob. To test freshness, pop a kernel with your fingernail. The liquid that spurts out should be milky colored. If not, the corn is either immature or overripe. Once home, refrigerate corn immediately.

Tips for Preparing and Serving Corn

Boiling is the traditional method for preparing corn-on-the-cob, though grilling, steaming, and even microwaving will get the job done.

A couple of notes about boiling: Adding salt to the water toughens corn; adding sugar isn't necessary; overcooking toughens kernels. Cook for the shortest amount of time possible -- about 5 minutes.


Keep reading to learn about the many health benefits of corn.

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