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How do you eat your corn on the cob?

My husband finds it very odd that I eat my corn on the cob in random bites. Not methodically around or across. Just curious as to how other chowhounds eat their corn.

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  1. Nothing weird with that! Except you're obviously psycho. ;-)

    I eat straight across only because I don't like getting all the toppings I put on my corn slathered across my face.

    1. I eat mine like a typewriter - base to tip, turn, base to tip again.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mordacity

        Same here. With a little "ding!" when you get to the end and hit the return key. :-)

          1. re: Chinon00

            I do, too. People give me a hard time because the cob is so clean when I finish. I grip the corn in my bottom teeth, pull up (like a can opener) and get the whole kernel. It's a way to avoid getting corn between my teeth.

            1. re: chowser

              This is also the way I eat it, I get grief for it but I also get the whole kernel. The cob is totally clean and it's sort of relaxing to do. Interesting to hear that other people also do this.

          2. You're husband is wrong, you're not odd, you're INSANE!!!! Get yourself checked out immediately! Every sane person knows the only on true correct way to eat corn on the cob is to chew along the length of the cob, completing a row before proceeding to the next level. True aficionados will consume one row at a time, carefully detaching individual kernals with their teeth without breaking the skin. ;)

            And butter, you need a lot of butter. In fact, I prefer my corn only mostly warm, not hot, so the butter doesn't get completely melty, but is mostly just soft and stays in place. ;) With salt, nice kosher salt to add more crunch...

            On the other hand, I won't turn my nose up at the fire roasted corn slathered with hot melted butter that I get that the Tunbridge World's Fair... oh man, I'm craving summer corn now! Look what you've done!!!

            1. i usually break the ear of corn in two and twist off each kernel and eat one at a time. it takes me about an hour to eat a half an ear, but it's usually when i'm snacking in front of the tv...

              my mom used to like the way i'd eat corn because she'd take the corn cobs, dry them and make back scratchers out of them. ya can't do that unless the cob is picked clean!

              now i feel insane. = {

              1 Reply
              1. re: soypower

                That's exactly how I eat mine. I love to tear each kernel off at a time. I usually take out 4 or 5 rows this way, then start to work each row with my teeth and scrape the cob off clean.

              2. Wow, this is tough crowd here. I hate to even mention how I do it. But I am a fool. I use a fork! I slide the tines parallel to the rows, then pry up, insert in mouth and enjoy. It seems pretty effective. It also greatly reduces the chance you'll have chunks of corn in your front teeth.

                4 Replies
                1. re: scuzzo

                  Chunks of corn in your teeth is one of the joys of corn on the cob.

                  1. re: mordacity

                    I told you it was a tough crowd!

                    1. re: scuzzo

                      Off to the asylum with you! :) I'm having a hard time picturing what you do, actually... Hrm. :)

                      1. re: scuzzo

                        my husband does that too!!!
                        the first time i ever witnessed this, i was speechless.
                        i married him anyway...but it means that he never eats corn on the cob anywhere but at home (it just doesn't work at a cookout with a plastic fork).

                  2. I would find random bites disturbing too... :)

                    I use the typewriter method as well.

                    1. HEY, you missed the IMPORTANT part!!!

                      After the first bite, you are supposed to count the number of rows!!
                      nyah nyah, I got 16 and you only got 14 rows!!


                      1. Interesting thread in the middle of Winter. There is no corn in these part this time of year.

                        BUT, in the summer, it's a staple at casa jfood. jfood eat length-wise, probably 3-4 rows at a time. In his youth he would slather in butter and salt. These days, the corn has been so terrific he put absolutely nothin on the ear.

                        BTW - years ago there used to be a theory that guys eat across and girls eat around the ear. And in jfood's experience this is accurate about 80% of the time. jfood eats along and mrs jfood and the two girl little jfood eat around the ear. Just an observation, not a scientific study with empirical results.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: jfood

                          I've never heard that theory! But indeed, I am female and I do eat around the cob.


                          1. re: jfood

                            I've not heard of that theory either...

                            I eat mine length wise

                            oh dear...

                          2. Oh, I feel so much better after reading the responses on this thread. I too, eat my corn, row by row, typewriter style. I use the same technique as chowser. I have endured years of humiliation from my friends and family due to my corn eating technique. That being said, I pretty much hate peaches and cream corn because the kernals are too soft to rip them off the cob neatly, and it just drives me bonkers.
                            I like yellow sweet corn (the ones with the tough kernals) no salt or butter.

                            1. First you need two prong corn holders in each end. OXO makes nice ones. Make sure corn is nice and hot and then roll it on a fresh stick of butter. Salt to taste and now the good part. Sprinkle liberally with CHILI POWDER. That's the secret. BTW, typewriter method also - 2 rows at a time. Yum.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Raymondo

                                I love chili-lime corn. Slice a lime in half and dip in chili powder, and then rub it on your corn.

                              2. I eat either across the ear and around, it just depends on my mood.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Kelli2006

                                  I too am a mixer. Sometimes on the same cob! Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!

                                  Usually it''s just a good butter and either kosher salt or a nice finishing salt, but sometimes I make my own special blend: Buttter, umeboshi paste, EVOO, roasted garlic,and salt.

                                2. Okay, Im the odd man out. Im a cut it off the cob girl. I like to let it cool for a minute and then slice it off the cob into a bowl of soft butter, salt, cajun seasoning, lime and cojita cheese. Mix and let it get melty. Good stuff!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: chelleyd01

                                    generally I cut it off the cob - but if I eat it on I alternate between typewriter style and around the cob.

                                  2. Wow, so many techniques I've never even considered! Until now, I've eaten around the ear in even columns, while my husband eats it typewriter-style, a point of MUCH debate between us. My reasoning against that method is that I'd have melted butter smeared across my face from ear to ear!

                                    Having heard the various techniques here, though, I feel compelled to try something a little more detailed. Boy, now I want good corn!

                                    1. Like many typewriter style. Butter, salt, pepper, MSG, eat one length then repeat. Trick is to determine number of rows so that the all lengths have an equal number of rows so no orphan rows at the end.

                                      1. Barefingered, no holders for me.

                                        And I mix it up, but usually right to left. I try to get the little dark yellow germs, as that's where the real nutrition is.

                                        My current favorite dressings are butter melted with a few drops of liquid smoke and Sriracha, or crema brushed on, followed bu a good dip in pilverized cotija cheese. OH!

                                        1. I eat mine from left to right, as many rows as I can get without looking like a walrus yawning, then when I reach the right end, I eat from right to left on the next series, rotating the top of the corn toward me, so the eaten part is always passing in front of me.

                                          3 things are necessary:

                                          1) silver queen corn only. white corn is for people, yellow corn is for livestock.
                                          2) it must be rolled in butter until it is yellow.
                                          3) then covered in fine ground (not fresh ground) pepper until it is nearly black with little flecks of yellow peeking out.

                                          Yes, this is in fact how I grew up eating corn on the cob.

                                          1. OK, when I eat a regular piece of corn on the cob, i'm like the majority here, typewriter style (jfood, I'm a girl so this goes against your findings), sometimes I like to pick off one by one. But every so often I have to get a piece of corn from the street vendors that hang around our school w/shopping carts full of hot corn. They put it on a stick, slather it with mayo, butter, cheese and chili powder. With this i eat from the top first, then I have another place to hold it. then I start on my 'typewriter' style.

                                            1. typewritter as well! but as is so I can taste the corn:)

                                              1. ooo--I just remembered that for a while as a kid, I ate three rows at a time, left to right, skipping a row in between. Just because I could, I guess. Who knows why corn on the cob brings out the AR in all of us?

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: toodie jane

                                                  Another vote for typewriter (and I'm a female, and all the other females in my family eat it that way too - there go your numbers jfood). My fave is with salt and tarragon butter. I never knew how good tarragon butter would be until I put it on my corn this past summer.

                                                  and if your mouth gets messy or your teeth get caked, clean 'em! :)

                                                2. Two rows at a time, base to tip. Softened sweet butter & dash of freshly ground pepper go in corn plate. Kosher salt to sprinkle after buttering. Holders do help. As does an apron strung around the neck over the chest.

                                                  Eating corn on the cob, like eating lobster and ribs, is something best done in family or intimate friends only. It's primal. Not meant to be in the least bit delicate. Non-Americans (in the broader sense of American - the Americas, though I don't know common it is to eat sweet corn south of the US border) probably cannot understand, any more than Americans can appreciate the wonders of things like, say, ortalans....

                                                  1. Laterally, from left to right, but I do not do so with concentration - just happens that way. I roll the cob from the bottom and act like a typewriter.


                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                      Just like we learned to read...

                                                      1. re: Gail

                                                        Unless one went to Hebrew School - I still have trouble at Temple... [Grin]


                                                    2. I don't eat corn on the cob. I wear braces. The carnage would be gruesome.

                                                      When I used to eat COTC, I would eat it one row at a time. Breaking in that first row was a bit messy, but thereafter very easy.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: MysticYoYo

                                                        Condolences Mystic. Corn on the cob was the number one food I missed when I had braces. Just remember - it's only temporary.

                                                      2. Corkscrew. Starting with the small end on the left. Sometimes without pausing for a breath.

                                                        Heavily buttered. No salt.

                                                        Sometimes boiled, sometimes roasted.

                                                        Freshest corn possible from the farmers market.

                                                        1. I am in the "typewriter style" camp. I only eat Illinois grown sweet corn on the cob for the 2 or 3 months it is in season here in Illinois, and like it with a little butter, and thats it. We steam our corn.

                                                          1. In terms of seasonings or condiments, I use to use butter but these days I just eat it plain.

                                                            I love to grill or roast corn on the cob though it turns out sweet and so tasty!

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: Chew on That

                                                              I am new to your forum and I'm having a great time exploring the site. I am an American living in Mexico, and especially enjoy the Mexico forum. I could not resist this question about corn - when I moved to Mexico, I was not surprised to see that corn is a popular street food, but the way it is served did give me pause: dipped in a huge jar of mayo (that has been sitting in the sun for hours), covered with powdered red chilis (not chili powder) and then topped with grated cheese (usually queso fresca or cotija). And the corn here is not tender sweet corn - more like field corn. I've not been brave enough to try it yet....

                                                              1. re: MexicoKaren

                                                                I posted up higher just on this style of corn. Here in S. CA, there are several people that push a cart around with a can full of fresh hot corn. Luckily, the corn here is of the sweet variety. Personally, I probably wouldn't try it down there either, but when you get a chance to have it with tender sweet corn, you need to try it once. I was apprehensive at first, but am glad I did. Was surprisingly good.

                                                            2. I've eaten corn in many forms roasted, boiled, etc. Don't know if anyone else has ever tried to eat corn this way though--wood heat, preferably mesquite, a Dutch type oven or a red brick or adobe brick oven with a closed opening at the top(use heavy wood almost logs) and keep it covered for a while(few hours), the bricks keep the heat in. Remove the wood and ashes. Then place the ears of corn(must be mature corn, not tender while raw, since there is a higher chance it will burn) in a burn resistant bag then place it in the oven, with the covering and all, important not to peel them or else they burn, cover the main openings and leave the corn in the oven overnight. Take it out early in the morning and taste that, it is delicious. The corn tastes like you've never had it before--sweet and smoky a completely different taste from corn you've had before. You can cook it similarly in the ground although it does not come out as sweet and smoky, more like boiled but very tender corn which is great with butter or fresh cheese.

                                                              1. Wow, all these answers and all the different approaches to corn and still I am the only chowhound to do random bites. Guess I am as weird as my H thinks about corn eating. There is logic behind my method (I think:)... When you put lots of butter on the corn, it drips off if you don't keep the corn moving, so that causes more random biting. Also, I might get full before I finish and so I go for the best visual bites each time. Thanks everyone, I really enjoy hearing all the corn tales.

                                                                1. I'm in the middle between eating it randomly and in rows. I think I just eat it in sections. Never gave much thought to it.

                                                                  And I like my corn plain to let the pure corn taste come out. IMHO, if you need to put anything on your corn the corn is probably not worth eating.

                                                                  1. the method of eating the corn depends on how it is cooked/how hot it is when it's handed to you. at a corn boil you eat around the cob, otherwise you'd burn your lips. if you've got a grilled ear in your hand with fresh butter you eat in a corkscrew, just like eating an ice cream cone, top to bottom, so you don't end up with a mess running down your arm. if you're sitting at some picnic table and someone hands you a lukewarm ear along with the effete "corn holders" (prongs for the ends of the ear, minimizes juice/butter on fingers) you eat in rows, make polite smalltalk, use napkin often, try to look enthusiastic about a product that's probably a week old. . . if you're standing in the middle of the field you can eat it raw & in random bites if you want to and wipe the heavenly juice on your sleeve, who the heck can see you anyway?

                                                                    1. Saw a friend of mine eat corn for the first time on the weekend. She was doing it kernel by kernel. I had never seen that before but I now see that others on here do it the same way too!

                                                                      1. Here's what I do:
                                                                        1. Grab a steak knife and neatly slice down the "middle" of each row (not between the rows...so that you are slicing each kernel in half) from left to right.
                                                                        2. Pick up the ear with the base in your left hand and the tip in your right hand.
                                                                        3. Eat 3 rows at a time from left to right.
                                                                        4. Rotate ear upward and repeat, eating the three rows below the three you just ate.

                                                                        My kids...pathetically just eat it randomly! :-) (They DO use the "cut the kernels" method, though.)

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                          Why do you cut the corn with a steak knife? Why not use your teeth?

                                                                          And I love seeing old threads like this resurface and go back and see what I wrote. :-)

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                            Somehow slicing the middle of each kernel makes it easier to get off, less gunk in my teeth, and lets that salt and butter work its way in there better. My mother showed me when I was a kid, and I've always done it.

                                                                        2. I saw this thread just as I finished an ear of corn cooked by the microwave method (which eliminates stripping the silk threads) and eaten by the typewriter system. When I get bored, I occasionally try the round-the-cob method but get more butter on the face that way.

                                                                          My grandfather stripped the corn off the cob with his knife so he wouldn't dislodge his false teeth!

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: DonShirer

                                                                            LOVE that microwave method! It makes the whole corn thing so stupid easy. We have it all the time now!

                                                                          2. I cut fresh corn into about two inch slices/disks them simmer/grill whatever. We eat off the corn kernels the opposite way most people do. Imagine the two inch slice being held vertically instead of what most people do: horizontally. That way you get 100% of the corn kernels goodness instead of leaving a lot of it on the cob.

                                                                            1. I'm another one of the small 'cut it off' crowd.

                                                                              There are very few things that I don't eat with a knife and a fork. I really hate getting food on my fingers or my face, and I don't like things getting stuck in my teeth either.

                                                                              I rarely need a napkin because I eat very, very cleanly.

                                                                              Yes, I even eat wings with a fork and a knife. I know. I'm weird.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: jw615

                                                                                No pig roast for you, I guess. :-)

                                                                                1. re: jw615

                                                                                  I want to see how you eat wings. I don't think I have the skill to eat wings cleanly w/ knife and fork. I guess you don't eat crab in the shell?

                                                                                  1. re: jw615

                                                                                    I'm guessing pizza is knife and fork too?