Daily Archives: July 10, 2012

The Naked and the Dread

Ears of corn

Well it’s sweet corn season again, so I’m republishing this blog  post.  A timely reminder.


I’ve seen this practice at the supermarket for a couple of years now and it never ceases to amaze me:  Shoppers standing around the fresh corn display intently removing the husks before purchasing the ears.  The markets have conveniently placed large trash cans nearby to catch the waste  (Is it convenience or enabling?)

For some shoppers an ear of corn with an intact husk is like a box of chocolates was to Forrest Gump: You never know what you will get. That’s part of the deal when you buy fresh corn, though:  You never know what you will get.

You may get an ear that is badly in need of corn-orthodontia (corthodontia?) or worse, one that has some inedible portions. Suck it up. people. Just buy the corn without peeling it first.  You can deal with the imperfections when you get home.

As noted in FoodEditorials.com, “as soon as you start removing the husk, the corn starts to lose its freshness.” Sure, the time the kernels are exposed to the air is minimal between shucking and cooking, but still.  If you’re buying corn at a supermarket, you need to preserve the last little bit of freshness that may remain at that point.  That’s all the more reason to leave the darn husks on!

Some may say that shucking corn at home is soooo messy, what with all those corn silks and all that. Ewwww! Again I say: Deal with it.  When I shuck corn I open a plastic grocery bag & shuck the corn while holding it over the bag.  Minimal mess.  Have no plastic bags (because you’re all into reusables)?  Shuck it over a piece of newspaper or over the trash can.  Even better still, shuck it over the compost pail.

Somehow, I don’t imagine many of the farmers selling corn at farmers markets would stand for this nonsense.  At least for now, I don’t see any large trash cans near the corn displays for the purpose of catching husks.

Real food can sometimes be messy. Real food can sometimes be imperfect.  So, take a chance and buy an ear without “peeling” it.  So what if you have to amputate an inch or so? So what if the kernels aren’t perfectly aligned?

That’s life with real food. Deal with it.