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Aug 1, 2009 04:49 PM

What to Do with Sweet--Maybe Too Sweet--Fresh Corn

Somehow, after this morning's visit to the farmers' market, we found ourselves with 24 ears of very corn (12 Brentwood , 12 from somewhere else). We've just eaten a few of the Brentwood ears, and have had a rather odd experience. First bite or two: " WOW! That is the sweetest corn I've ever had." After a quarter of the ear, the sweetness palls, and i am left searching in vain for some kind of corn flavor. By the time I'm halfway done, I can't really taste anything and I'm just trying to finish the rest of the ear.

What happened? Did my tastebuds give out? (I can eat vast quantitites of dessert and enjoy the last cake crumb as much as the first.)

And what would be a good use for this very sweet, but tasteless, corn?

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  1. Remove kernels, boil the cobs to make a corn stock base. Add kernels back and simmer till tender.Remove cobs & Puree w/ an immersion blender and then strain through a sieve. Add S&P and a touch of heavy cream and a few reserved kernels of fresh corn. Best corn soup ever!!

    7 Replies
      1. re: adamshoe

        That sounds so good! Thank you! Maybe I'll throw in a small leek with the corn cobs to add more flavor, and drizzle some truffle oil at the end. . .

        1. re: pilinut

          It's become nearly impossible to find fresh corn that's not of the supersweet or candy variety. When I ask for it at the outdoor markets, the farmers' look at me like I'm crazy. One of my August staples used to be cold corn soup: summer in a bowl. Last time I made it was with sweet corn -- the least sweet I could find, but it still tasted like dessert.

          The only successful treatment I've found for the stuff is to grill it on the cob then drizzle with fresh lime juice and sprinkle with a mixture of sea salt and cayenne. The grilling caramelizes some of the sugar, the smokiness hides it, the lime juice cuts it and the salt counterbalances it.

        2. re: adamshoe

          Adam, I incorporated your cob-boiling idea into the following recipe. I only boiled two of the cobs, but I'm sure I got a little extra corny goodness into the chowder by doing so. Kind of a neat technique with grating the corn and onion (even though toward the end, the onion made me cry). My only very small deviations--I used one large Idaho potato instead of 6 new potatoes...and I added some cinnamon basil for a little something extra. I did not measure 3 cups of kernels--I used six very robust ears of native corn. Yum, yum, yum!
          Corn Chowder - Fresh and Sweet:

          1. re: adamshoe

            I made this soup today with some less than perfect corn and it was stellar. Thanks Adamshoe!

            The larger problem tho' is the fact that corn has indeed become overly sweet and so many varieties have been displaced by these super sweet varieties that are hybidized for shipping/longevity etc. waaaaa . . . miss the old corn :-(

            1. re: adamshoe

              p.s. the corn cob broth base is super for corn chowders and so forth . . . have been doing it for years . . . if you run the back of your knife down the length of the cob, while holding it over the pot, milky bits fall into the water giving it a jump start.

              1. re: adamshoe

                adamshoe, I hope you're still around as I don't see your name much these days. Remembering your cob boiling tip from last year, I tried a different recipe, but used that same good! And as native corn is in season, what better time to bump this thread and remind them to boil their cobs. to make corn soups/chowders even better.

                Here is my stab at it. Never had corn chowder with peppers before--nom nom nom! I liked the little bit of cilantro, too (though you could obviously sub parsley or even basil if you're a hater)...enough to make it different, but not completely punch ya in the nose!

              2. Cook it in crab boil ---- If ya threw in a few shrimp....I don't think anyone would mind.


                1. Welcome to the American table, where sweeter is better. As far as I can tell, it's impossible to buy corn that tastes like corn and not candy in the U.S. these days. Let's all give thanks to GM corn.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: pikawicca

                    Try the corn grown in Iowa in the winter.

                  2. how about some sweet corn ice cream or a corn crap soup?

                    or a corn relish - the vinegar would hopefully balance out the sweetness, and you can adjust the amount of sugar down. there's a great recipe in the au pied de cochon cook book.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: lschow

                      Corn crap soup????????? That's new.

                      Maybe the OP's tastebuds did give out, hard to say. Never had a local ear of corn I got sick of.

                      1. re: Phurstluv

                        I'm thinking maybe that was meant to read corn crab soup but I hope Phursluv clarifies

                        1. re: Phurstluv

                          oops! yes, i meant corn crab soup!

                          guess i should take "attention to detail" off of my resume :)

                      2. What about a salsa with corn? Or maybe even a yummy black bean and corn soup in the crockpot (so the kitchen doesn't get to hot) or a corn chowder on the stove. You could even make a southwest salad. =)
                        Some ideas:


               (this is one from a chow user that I found, looks very good, but maybe a bit less olive oil? Most corn salad recipes are very adaptable

               (this one is from cook illustrated, and I have gotten some of my best soup recipes from their cookbook)