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Best corn farmers & corn chefs in New England?

Hi there,

I'm writing a story for Saveur magazine for which I'm planning a mid-August romp around New England in search of amazing growers & cookers of sweet corn. I know these things depend a lot on the season, the weather, & personal taste, but I'd love to assemble a decent list of places to check out in southern New England (and northern, too, but that's another board).

For farmers, I'm looking for taste, obviously, but also history, innovation, and adaptation. The NY Times did a story a while back on a cool-sounding farm in Pawcatuck, CT <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/01/nyr...>. But surely there are others worth visiting?

And for chefs, I'm looking both for innovators and traditionalists, at restaurants both high- and low-end. And talented home chefs are as good (and in many cases better) than the pros.

Finally, if anyone has ever come across interesting (and delicious) brands of canned or frozen corn (especially local brands), I'd like to hear about them.

Any ideas? I'm getting hungry just thinking about the trip...

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  1. Using chow for your story prep, huh? Always a good ear to be found at Zentec in Cheshire, CT and Gotta Farms in Portland, CT. As for the cooking, a minute or 2 in boiling water, simply grilled or raw, no more than a couple hours off the stalk. Seems very wrong, contradictory and anti New England to wolfgangpuckicize something like corn on the cob

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gatogrande

      Chowhound for story prep? Of course! Can you think of a better place to do research? ;)

      As for cooking, I'm totally with you—the less cooking the better. But still... there's succotash to consider, and tomato-corn salads, and chowder, and... who knows what else? Also, I'm curious to know if any "ethnic" restaurants are making use of New England's delicious sweet corn in new ways: shaved-ice toppings, dumpling stuffing, etc. Come across any of that?

    2. Here's a good thread on favorite Connecti-corn from many of us over the past couple of years.
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/636949

      I don't know how innovative--and certainly others have made corn ice cream--but I made corn gelato last year (oh, and I'm no chef!). If you're looking for favorite corn recipes, try the Home Cooking board. I can't think of particular restaurants that featured corn off the top of my head.

      12 Replies
      1. re: kattyeyes

        Awesome! I'm google-mapping everything mentioned in that thread. But... what about Massachusetts? I mean, CT corn is great, but let's be fair to my native lands, too. Anything worthy up there?

        1. re: worldmatt

          I'm sure our friends to the north will chime in with even more recommendations for you. Hope you find that Montauk corn--it's delish! :) Have fun!

          1. re: worldmatt

            Noble Farm, on New Lenox Road in Lenox (in the Berkshires) usually has fabulous corn. Late, but worth the wait.
            We just moved to Northampton, and are looking forward to corn season here since the Pioneer Valley is renowned for asparagus, strawberries, and corn (in that chronological order). Don't know sources etc yet --- but someone will.

            1. re: BerkshireTsarina

              Whately, MA Golanka Farm. Corn is magnificent. Farmstand on Route 5.

              1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                Hi Tsarina....I've stopped at a number of the roadside stands in Noho to get early corn, about 2 weeks before it's available here in the Berkshire region. Always was good!
                By the way, Worldmatt, those of us living right over the western MA border in southern Renss. Co, NY, believe we have the best corn growers (almost too many to mention.)

                1. re: mjoyous

                  Hey, Joyous! Good news about the 2 weeks early-
                  We're still trying to get a handle on the food scene in Noho.
                  Butterfly is wonderful, that much we know.

                  1. re: mjoyous

                    I may very well wind up in NY, too. So hard to limit myself when I hear about good corn!

                    Wondering: Are there particular roads through southern New England that are going to have a particularly high number of farm stands? I remember going across Rt 9 a couple of years ago, between East Brookfield and Amherst, and hitting half a dozen.

                  2. re: BerkshireTsarina

                    At Serio's they sell really good local corn, can't remember the source.

                    lso, of course, at the coop they have the Golanka farm, I think.

                  3. re: worldmatt

                    On rt 2 in Buckland MA there is a beautiful old farm which sells many varieties of no pesticide corn. Do any of you remember the name? I think it is Schmidt's Farm. This is my favorite corn and I drive a half hour for it almost daily in corn season. It is right near Mohawk Trail regional School

                    1. re: magiesmom

                      Yes, it is Schmidt Farm. Really nice people, too. Good call! Don't know why I didn't mention them in the first place. I drove by that farm at least twice a day for 6 years.

                      1. re: hilltowner

                        Awesome. Here's a link to a Google Map I'm putting together of everywhere that everyone recommends: http://j.mp/j7eUA5

                        1. re: hilltowner

                          Thanks, hilltowner. I live in Cummington, so it is not really near, but boy is that corn good!!!

                  4. We usually get corn at Manfreddi Farm in Westerly, RI. This might be frowned upon in the chef world but last year at Manfreddi's they had a sign up that suggested cooking ears of corn in the microwave. We did it, it came out perfect and it was so convenient.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Alica

                      Foppma's Farm Stand in Northbridge, MA is also delish, and I have been microwaving their ears for the last several years. Delish! Ken and Lisa are dedicated to farm fresh, local food. Corn is not the only fresh, local produce to be had.