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The corn is green--but where is it fresh?

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The corn is green--but where is it fresh?

Chris Lyons | Jul 2, 2002 01:37 PM

I was raised in Monmouth County, New Jersey--home to some of the finest sweetcorn on the planet. I was spoiled rotten. We would go to whichever local produce provider had the best crop that year, and get the stuff no more than an hour or two off the husk--in vast quantities. Silver Queen was the best, but if it was really fresh, it didn't actually matter that much if it was white, or yellow, or white and yellow. Just get it cooked ASAP and bring on the butter and condiments. Used to salt it, but tend to favor cayenne or cumin these days. And extra virgin olive oil can actually replace butter, if you're cholesterol shy.

It's easily the best food-related memory of any summer. Hell, even Nero Wolfe waxes prosaic over it on A&E.

But how do you get decent fresh sweetcorn if you live in Manhattan and don't have a car?

What I used to do was go back and visit my parents at my old New Jersey home. Then my parents moved to South Carolina--where they do have fairly decent corn (hardly up to New Jersey standards), but I can't visit quite so often, and that's not really a visit one wants to make during mid-summer. The corn may be fresh, but you will be cooked.

It's the time factor that's problematic, as many of you doubtless know--more than a few hours off the stalk, and all you've got is the makings of some decent succotash.

So what I need, basically, is a recommendation for some place in Manhattan that gets New Jersey sweetcorn relatively fresh, and what the best days to get it are. OR, I need some advice on places in New Jersey that can be easily accessed via mass transit, so I can get out there, load up, and get it back before it turns to starch. I could ask at the Tristate board about that, but I'm asking here first.

In a pinch, I suppose I'd settle for New York State corn. I mean, if I had to. It can be pretty good. But it's just not the same.

I hope this is not an inappropriate posting, since it's not restaurant related. But the time is upon us. And I'm hungry. And nostalgic.

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