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In Season: Sweet Corn

Whether you're a CSA devotee, a farmers' market weekender or consider ketchup a veg, we'll bring you fresh inspiration for how to prepare our local produce.

This week's harvest: Sweet corn

Did you know that you could hear the corn growing when it was quiet and still - especially at night? It just can't wait to have its ears plucked, the husk shucked and the silk carefully picked off. It loves a bath in butter, but it's so sweet and flavorful -- it really doesn't need any. Biting into an ear of corn and having the kernels pop off the cob and jump into my mouth is the most delightful summer dining experience. Corn is so amazingly versatile. You can eat it in so many ways since it rides the rails between a sweet and savory food. Here are some that will invigorate your corn plans in the kitchen.

​When is sweet corn in season?
June and July

Selecting, storage and preparation tips:
Eat it just as soon as you can after you get it home. The sugars turn to starch after it's picked and loses its sparkle if you wait too long. Keep it in its husk until ready to eat. If you've never eaten a fresh ear of corn, here's how to do it.

Once husked, you can cut the ears off the corn (if that's required for your recipe - or if you need to help your kid out) by doing it straight into a bowl and that way the kernels won't roll away from you. Or just open your mouth and chomp your way around the cob until you've taken all those precious pearly corn kernels.

Recipes:

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They're all sweet and creamy, or sweet, creamy and spicy. That's pretty much how corn likes it. Here are some of my picks.

Sweet Corn Cherry Pancakes

Creamed Corn
no can opener required

Crab and Corn Chowder
I love the Barefoot Contessa's corn chowder, but this looks lovely with the addition of dainty crab.

Grilled corn slathered in: mayo, cotija, chile powder and squeeze of lime (this is usually reserved for the hardier elote blanco and not sweet corn) but tastes unbelievably tasty nevertheless. Similar variation: mayo, parm, cayenne. And another for "drippy" Mexican sweet corn with crema, parm, chili powder and lime.

Sweet Corn Ice Cream
There are lots of recipes online, this uses the whole corn on the cob.

Freezing Sweet Corn
Make sure to stock pile today's sweet corn in your freezer so you can make the rest of these recipes you don't get to in a few months when they're long gone.

Jennifer Woods is a local food advocate with over 10 years working in the AZ food industry, and currently works for Crooked Sky Farms, a CSA produce farm based in South Phoenix.

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