An ear of just-picked, local corn is one of the true delights of summer. The kernels are sweet and bright and dripping with flavorful juices.
In New England, most corn is grown to be eaten right off the cob, but sadly the majority of corn grown in this country is used to make high fructose corn syrup - a sugar-like substance used in pretty much all mass-produced food in place of sugar - or to be ground into grain.
We're here to sing the praises of fresh corn. It's delicious no matter how you choose to eat it, but here are some of our favorite ways.
#1 way to eat corn: boiled with butter
If you're the kind of eater that just loves fresh and simple preparations, or if you're just a nostalgic eater, this is for you. Put ear in boiling water, wait three minutes, remove, slather butter, dust with salt. ENJOY.(Credit: FLICKR/ Tim Sackton)
Style: Classic with a twist
Grilled corn is a favorite preparation for many corn lovers. Leaving the leaves on keeps the kernals nice and soft and steams them, too. You also get a bit of a smoky flavor in the corn. Prepare them Mexican-style: slathered with mayo, cotija cheese, cilantro and lime, or any way you like. Bon Appetit has a particularly inspired new recipe that calls for miso butter and sesame seeds. Anything goes, really!(Credit: Johnny Simon)
Style: RawSweet and fresh corn doesn't even need to be cooked. Just slice it off the cob and eat it. It's delicious in any salad, or even on a antipasta plate with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Check out this recipe from The Healthy Foodie. (Credit: Thehealthyfoodie.com)
Corn on pasta
Style: ComfortingCorn on pasta is one of the great comfort foods in this world. At Perla, Chef Michael Toscano makes an elevated pasta dish with corn that is currently on the menu. Black spaghetti is topped with corn, skate and habanero. $21. 24 Minetta Lane, perlanyc.com (Credit: Perla)
With lobster; seafood
Style: Seafood side
Corn on the cob is also a the greatest side dish to summertime classics like lobster and clams: it's perfect for lobster boils and clambakes alike. One of the best lobster boils in town is going down on Sundays at Hearth through the end of August. The family-style feast begins with tomato and watermelon salad and smoked bluefish pate and is followed by a lobster pot with 1 1/4 pound lobsters for each person as well as corn on the cob, steamer clams, potatoes and chorizo. Dessert is peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream. PERFECTION, like we said. $68 per person. 403 E. 12th St., restauranthearth.com(Credit: MARCO CANORA)
Maiz dulce y cajeta (sweet corn and caramel) ice cream
Style: SweetRosa Mexicano will be scooping up ice cream flavors inspired by Mexican cuisine July 31 - August 24 for the ice cream festival Flavors of Mexico a la Mode. We are smitten with the sweet corn and caramel flavor. Get a scoop for $3, available at all Rosa Mexicano locations. rosamexicano.com (Credit: Rosa Mexicano)
Fresh corn tamal
At Andrew Carmellini's restaurant The Dutch, an appetizer tamal (think tamale) is offered at dinner. Made with fresh corn, lime, cotija cheese and blistered pepper, it's a take on the traditional Mexican food. This is the best way to eat corn if you love the deep flavors that can be coaxed out of it through the use of heat, and complimentary ingredients. Also, if you love corn on tacos and in other Mexican dishes. $16. 131 Sullivan St., thedutchnyc.com(Credit: Instagram/ Andrew Carmellini)
The Corn Star cocktail
Momofuku's cocktail bar Booker and Dax has, until very recently, made a cocktail from corn. (This is not surprising, given that the bar is known for molecular mixology techniques). The Corn Star (at right) is made by infusing rye with corn using an iSi whip, a rapid infusion device that was created by Dave Arnold, who is largely behind the cocktail program at Booker and Dax. Lemon juice, cane syrup, black pepper tincture and saline round out the drink. We're hoping it comes back on the menu - it's our favorite drink there. (Shocking.) 207 2nd Ave., momofuku.com(Credit: GEORGIA KRAL)
Fresh corn is sweet, and lends itself to delicately-balanced menu items such as this corn custard from The Musket Room. Served with herbs and truffles, it's a savory treat. $13. 265 Elizabeth St., musketroom.com(Credit: The Musket Room)