Cooking School – Corn

By / Food / September 17th, 2009 / 1

There’s really very little that can compare to the taste of basil-scented butter melting over a hot cob of corn. The quintessential vegetable of summer cook-outs, backyard barbecues and crab boils, corn varieties come in sweet, sugar-enhanced, super-sweet and baby. There are early and late crops, too. Corn is often on sale at this time of the year, so stock up. Boil them, grill them or steam them, if you can’t use up all of the cobs of corn you’ve bought, slice off the kernels and freeze them.

What’s your favourite method of cooking corn?

Everyone has a favourite way of preparing corn. One person I know insists on submerging a bag of shucked corn (yes, bag and all) into a large cauldron of boiling water. Personally, I’m rather dubious about the plastic and ink that might seep into the hot water and mingle with the cooking corn. I think I’d rather wrap them loosely in their husks and grill them over hot coals. But, boiling, baking and steaming are also great ways of bringing out that yummy sweetness.

Guess the secret ingredient

More than 2500 products found in a typical grocery store use corn either during production or processing.

{loadposition contentad} • “lite” beer is made with refined corn starch or corn syrup instead of malt

• cake mixes use pregelatinized corn starch as a thickener

• antibiotics often contain corn

• rubber tires are sprinkled with corn starch during production to prevent the rubber from sticking to the mould

Did you know?

• about 50% of the corn grown in Canada has been Genetically Engineered (GE) to make it herbicide- and insect-resistant; tests have found some GE corn to be toxic; (facts according to Greenpeace)

• corn is Canada’s 3rd largest grain crop, after wheat and barley;

• Canada grows almost 1.5 million hectares of corn;

• you can fill about 3.5 million bushels from 1 hectare of corn;

• 1 hectare of corn produces enough oxygen to sustain 325 people for 1 summer day;

• 1 hectare of corn removes about 22 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air;

• corn is now processed into ethanol, an octane-rich, renewable fuel;


Facts courtesy of the Ontario Corn Producers’ Association


Rosemary Mantini has always loved words. When she isn't working as the Associate Editor at Tidings Magazine, she's helping others achieve their writing dreams, and sometimes she even relaxes with a good book and a glass of wine.

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