General Discussion

Where is the sweet corn of yesteryear?

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General Discussion 45

Where is the sweet corn of yesteryear?

alfairfax | Jul 2, 2007 08:01 AM

Many 'hounds have commented on the prevalence of super sweet varieties of white corn, especially in the past 10-15 years, which has virtually driven yellow corn out of markets. Sweetness drives out flavor just as bad money drives out good. Our local farmers' market is generally a wonderful one (Marin County, California) and in the Bay Area corn from the Brentwood region has been the best available. One stand at the market would have a small mound of yellow next to the mountain of white, and I always felt lucky to grab some ears of it--picked that morning.

I did this yesterday and ate it for dinner. The juiciness: perfect. The texture: perfect, not a bit of mealiness. The flavor: Oh Noooo!!! It had gone SWEET! Not as sweet as the white stuff, a little bit more corn-like in flavor, but not that corn of memory and dream that had the texture and the juiciness and also actually tasted like corn--not like Halloween candy corn.

I was raised in Michigan and perhaps in the midwest there is still available what I think of as real corn. But my impression is that this is becoming harder to find. Or is there a nacent heirloom corn movement such as we have seen achieve success in tomatoes and even pork? What varieties, if so? I would love to know about it and try to get some local growers to provide us with corn that tastes like corn. I never liked that Halloween stuff anyway.

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