Are you one of those people who shucks corn at the market or farmstand? Since it’s something the Accidental Locavore never does, I’m always curious as to why. The neat-freak part of me figures it’s just that you’d rather make the mess somewhere other than the kitchen floor. And sometimes when I’m in my local store, it seems like a time to be a bit social and catch up on the gossip from your neighbors. Maybe it’s to make sure you’re bringing home a perfect ear of corn (or twelve)?
Reasons to shuck corn in public:
- Make a mess somewhere else
- Less garbage
- Find out why the sheriff was outside ______’s door
- Bring home perfect ears
Reasons to shuck corn in the privacy of your own home:
- It makes a mess of the store or farmstand that someone else has to clean up (and if that person is a farmer, trust me, they’ve got 1000 other things to do)
- You can compost the husks
- It dries out the corn, so if you’re not using it in five minutes, you’re losing peak flavor.
- The husk protects the corn and keeps it moist if you’re grilling it or popping it in the microwave (2 minutes an ear, trim away the outer layers of the husk).
- Saves time. I just grab the best looking ears and go. At least 90% of the corn I’ve bought (unshucked) has been perfect.
- If you’re at a farmstand, just know that it’s one of the farmers’ biggest pet peeves (see #1).
So, how do you find perfect corn without shucking? Look for a good-looking ear. Nice, fresh, green husk, ends that don’t look old and dried out. People say you can pinch a kernel to see or check the color of the silk, to me that’s too much work. Just grab a handful of the best-wqwwwlooking ones and undress them in the privacy of your own home.
I never thought much about GMO corn, until I had an ear of non-GMO corn from one of the farmers at the Milan Farmers’ Market. The difference in taste was incredible (and so good that we now only eat corn on Fridays when they have the market). If you have the chance to buy non-GMO corn, do it! Regardless of what your food politics are, it just tastes better. But if you’re still shucking at the supermarket…