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Do any other nations each corn on the cob?

Given that it is that time on year, I am wondering if any other nations eat fresh corn on the cob like we do in America: boiled in water, buttered and salted.

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  1. In Mexico you commonly find ears of corn sold on the street that is cooked on a grill or boiled and slathered in mayo and coated with cojita cheese and dusted with chile/limon powder

    4 Replies
    1. re: scubadoo97

      I've also seen them with sort of a sour cream ("crema"). And I think its cotija.

      What other continents grow corn?

      Answer; all but Antartica!


      1. re: Shrinkrap

        I know corn is grown and eaten in Northern Italy, but it is mostly grown and eaten as a grain (polenta).

      2. re: scubadoo97

        Exactly, scuba. And Mexico does not feature the sweet, watery, thin-walled kernel hybrids we favor stateside, but rather thick kernel turbocharged carbohydrate varieties, as 53% of the Mexican caloric intake is from corn tortillas. Enjoy the mexican street corn with accoutrements, but carry about 50 meters of floss!

        The roasted blue corn kernels in Peru (cancha) with salt and chile are served hot and are an addictive bar snack/ appetizer, plus their beverage cousin, chicha morada, are another subject.

      3. I saw ears of corn for sale years ago in New Zealand. They had been steam cooked in the hot springs of Rotorua.

        1. A Canadian or two have been known to eat corn on the knob {;-/)

          1. For anyone interested, here is an interesting discussion of whether corn is a grain or a vegetable.


            1. Several years back, neighbors had an exchange student from Italy. A summer bbq in NJ is some kiinda "beast" on grill, REAL tomatoes and corn on the cob. She looked at us like we had lost our last brain cells when we dove into silver queen corn. Seems where she came from corn on the cob was pretty much ONLY for animals. We straightened her our quickly!!

              1 Reply
              1. re: kseiverd

                That's odd. I have a very fond memory of a great grilled corn on the cob from a street vendor in Rome about 15 years ago. Brushed with olive oil and a little black pepper.

                1. re: Chowrin

                  Yeah, it is corn season right now in Japan, but It is much more expensive here then it is in Canada or Australia where it is also eaten.

                  1. re: TeRReT

                    Speaking of price, I always thought in-season corn should cost $1/doz. It was always the case thoughout my childhood and teen years - as if the price was set by god. Now, in Canada, 10 ears for $3.00 seems a bargain....

                    1. re: porker

                      Thats definitely a bargain for me. Its 1.00-1.25 a piece here.

                    1. re: scoopG

                      Beijing, two street styles:
                      Grilled--It's fresh, pretty, has beautiful grill marks...
                      "steamed"-- basically boiled beyond re-cob-nition

                      And in my opinion, tastes like what I call "Feed Corn."

                    2. Oh, God, the Turks do, and it's awful, I think it must be field corn. Walking through a market in Istanbul, I came upon a food stand selling luscious-looking corn. I bought an ear, bit into it, and promptly spat it out. Nasty! Pure starch, no sweetness, no corn flavor, and then (thanks to anti-terrorism measures not allowing for trash cans, I had to carry the offending ear around for half an hour before I just pitched it on the street in defeat.

                      2 Replies
                        1. re: pikawicca

                          I had exactly the same experience in Istanbul -- salivating in expectation, brought right down by the first bite. I used to fall for the sale pitches sometimes in my Roman market, where normal-looking ears of corn turn up once in a great while, but have since learned (the hard way). Now I save all my corn-longings for trips to New England in August.

                        2. It's popular street food in Cambodia.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: kurtt

                            In Vietnam, too. Usually it's only steamed and eaten unseasoned. Well, that's how my relatives there eat it.

                            1. re: breadwinner

                              We eat it like that in my house. If it's sweet enough, you don't need anything on it. If it's not, well, it's not worth eating off the cob.

                          2. It's eaten here in Denmark more and more--rare 10 years ago, but there's a window of a few weeks when it's nearly affordable and in most markets.

                            Danes seem to have an issue with eating with their hands, so I'm not sure it will ever be widespread. A lot of people shave it off the cob at the table, even for BBQ. But then those same people peel and eat shrimp with knife and fork.

                            1. Better to ask what nations do NOT eat corn on the cob.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                agreed! I've lived in a number of English speaking countries (NZ, Australia, Canada, UK) and have eaten corn on the cob in all of them. Preparation is so simple that it's a common food.

                              2. In Nepal, a common street food. The starchy ear is roasted directly on the coals, then you pop off the kernels with your fingers...no biting into it.

                                After months of a monotonous diet, it tasted fantastic.

                                I also enjoy the Mexican approach of rubbing the corn with lime, the sprinkling with chili and salt!

                                1. We certainly eat corn on the cob in the UK - the local product won't be with us till late summer/early autumn. Forty years back, it was a common starter in lower end restaurants.

                                  In Cyprus, you see roasted cobs sold as street food, when its in season.

                                  1. Very common in Australia - either in home cooking as a side dish, or increasingly sold as street food at markets and carnivals - butter, salt (and maybe some pepper if you are lucky) - delicious!

                                    1. It's done in Germany, too, but not nearly as much as in the US. And sadly, Germans cook the shit out of them most every time, turning the corn into mush. Ick, overcooked corn.

                                      You can buy them in the supermarket usually two in one package, shucked (!) already on a styrofoam tray covered in cling wrap. Or even pre-boiled.

                                      It ain't pretty.

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: linguafood

                                        LOL. This reminds me of a (possibly apocryphal) family story: My great-grandmother, recently immigrated from Germany, was working as a housekeeper in San Francisco (circa 1906). The lady of the house purchased corn on the cob to be cooked and served for dinner. Great-grandma had never seen corn on the cob before, but gamely attempted to prepare it until finally she gave up and told the lady of the house: "I've cooked it for hours and it's still hard in the middle!"

                                          1. re: linguafood

                                            Wow! I've never seen it eaten in Germany, and all the Germans I've met/seen so far see it as a very "American thing" (from movies, tales, etc...).

                                            1. re: Wawsanham

                                              Most of my relatives live in Germany. Two cousins came to Canada to visit two summers ago. We starting grilling things, including corn on the cob and the cousins pulled out their cameras and were snapping pictures of the barbecue. It took us a moment to figure out that what fascinated them was the corn on the cob as they only know it as food for animals. They come from rural East Germany.

                                              1. re: chefathome

                                                that's funny. Did they like the corn on the cob?

                                          2. Very common in New Zealand and as Harters has mentioned also in the UK. I prefer it grilled or roasted these days, really brings out the sweetness.

                                            However it doesn't seem quite as accessible in France - the past few times I have been in Normandy on holiday we have been surrounded by fields of corn, expecting to find some in the markets but only to be told they use it for animal feed.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: pj26

                                              I crossposted just below you....

                                              1. re: pj26

                                                Yes, that's also what most people in Germany see it as.

                                                1. re: pj26

                                                  Most of the corn grown in Iowa is for animal feed and industrial purposes. Less than 1% of the total acreage, and most of that (some 87%) goes into canning and freezing. So fresh corn on the cob is only about. 0.05% of the total USA corn crop.

                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                    iowa isn't the only corn in the country... but I'm sure most of it is animal feed.

                                                2. I can buy corn on the cob in France....but it's no small feat. There's a you-pick farm not far from me that brings it in fresh - he was all excited last year because he found out that AMERICANS eat mais doux! (sweet corn) Seems all his other customers are from Asia or Africa.

                                                  Actually found it at a shop a few weeks ago (Grand Frais, the French version of Whole Foods) for just 50 centimes an ear -- a real bargain. And it was good, too.

                                                  I can also sometimes find it at an Asian market.

                                                  But like some of the other posters, I have to be very wary, or I end up with old field corn -- tough and with all the sugar gone. it's sort of a vicious circle -- they don't at corn and say they don't like it -- but it takes a conscious effort to find corn that isn't old and tough -- and yes, really best suited to give to the cows.

                                                  9 Replies
                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                    Is it the French who are doing it wrong, or the Americans? For centuries (millennia) corn has been grown largely for its starch, something that stores well, and can be transformed into a variety of cakes, breads, and porridges (and breakfast cereal in recent century), as well as fed to animals. Americans have transformed that staple into an ephemeral candy/vegetable. If it weren't for freezing and canning we wouldn't be able to eat this sweet corn 11 months out of the year. But even in the USA, sweet corn is only a small part of the total corn crop. Most is field corn that is fed to animals, cars, and made into sweet beverages.

                                                    Instead of calling the French corn 'old and tough', how about calling it 'mature'? You can't flick a few kernels off a cob of sweet corn, and plant them, hoping get a new stalk next year. The sweet corn we Americans enjoy is young, sweet, and immature corn.

                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                      No, it's old -- as in it was picked a LOOOONG time before it gets to the consumer, and all the sugars were converted to starches days and days ago.

                                                      It's tough and chewy.

                                                      It's so dried-out that the kernels are dimpled.

                                                      It's the French that are doing this one wrong....because I've eaten it both ways -- one is chewy, has very little flavor, and is pretty unpleasant, and one is sweet and juicy and delicious.

                                                      The French would agree -- because they've asked me how I fix it and where I buy it...and several have come back and told me that Ohhhh, NOW I understand why you like it!

                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                        So you are talking about the same strains of sweet corn that have been picked at the right time, but have not gotten to market in a timely fashion. As opposed to corn that was picked at a more mature stage (and no bred for sweetness).

                                                        'Old are picking', as opposed to 'old when picked'

                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                          (and the Wiki article) describes the sweet corn varieties. Sweet corn is produced by recesive genes in field corn. The standard variety, SU, has a very short shelf life, loosing it's sweetness in a matter of minutes after picking. Other varieties, all hybrids, are sweeter, and stay that way longer after harvest (up to 10 days). Still most sources talk about getting sweet corn to market with a day or 2. That means that not only must farmers be interested in growing these special varieties (and keep them isolated), but the distribution system (farm to market) must be tuned to maximizing its potential.

                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                            anytime you want to fund the DNA testing, knock yourself out.

                                                        2. re: paulj

                                                          I think "chronologically advanced" would be a still more sensitive term to describe French corn. Or perhaps, "temporally endowed," should take the fig.

                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                            that's because you haven't ended up with a mouthful of it.

                                                            Cut to the chase -- it's old.

                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                              I'd have expected you to pick up on my facetiousness, sunshine.

                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                Yours, yes -- but given the unfortunate context, my patience is wearing a little thin....

                                                      2. In Bolivia, huge kernel choklo corn, a half cob served in soups. Very starchy.
                                                        In Norway and Finland, not common at all. In the 10 years I lived there, never had or saw it.

                                                        1. From Kenya and yes its very popular as a street snack here as well.

                                                          Roasted over hot coals and then rubbed down with a half lemon dipped in salt and chilli powder (cost of one cob - 23 cents)

                                                          We also eat sweet potato and casava in the same way

                                                          1. Yes for Russia. Boiled. Do not remember having butter with it or salt. For some reason it was a rare treat when I was a kid - I do not think a lot was/ is grown over there.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: Marusik

                                                              we had some in Moscow two years ago -- the stands were scattered all over the city. Somewhere between French and American in flavor and preparation -- a little butter, and a little old, but still fairly decent.

                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                They sell it as street food in Israel too.

                                                            2. The best 'dressing' for corn-on-the-cob is fermented tofu of the brand 'Huang Re Xiang' which literally means the 'Yellow Daily Fragrance'. This fermented tofu is made in Taiwan using baterial curture instead of the traditional fungal. This makes the small cubes uniform in consistency without a 'skin'. I'd smear the soft cheese-like tofu on the corn, instead of using fancy European butter. Both my occidental daughters-in-law like the taste of 'to fu ru' on the corn. I have yet to experiment with dressing the corn with stinky soft western cheese. I bet it'll be delicious, too.

                                                              Summer is my favorite season partly because we get to eat corn-on-the-cob bought from local farms. Have been doing it for the last 40 years, ever since I came to the States. This year, I was amazed to find out that the best corn is Korean. I now find them in the freezer department of local Korean supermarkets. Not with white kernels, not yellow, but a mixture of various colors. The texture of the kernels is so good (so very 'nuo') that nothing can be compared to chewing it. The Koreans are growing this kind of corn in America. One such place is the Evergreen Farm near Trenton, NJ.

                                                              In Asia, people tend to eat only mature ears of corn. We came over and stayed blinded to local practice until someone told me it's better to eat corn young. And what a relevation it was. Another recent finding does not concern corn-on-the-cob, just corn kernels - dried corn kernels. Found them served at the Dutch buffet place Shady Maple and was hooked after one bite. Ther kernels may not be pretty, but they sure are tasty.

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: borntolovefood

                                                                Are you saying you prefer frozen, "Korean" corn to fresh "American"? Is there a particular variety or brand?

                                                                1. re: borntolovefood

                                                                  I've seen the multi colored Korean corn on the cob in the produce section of HMart - cooked, without the husk, just laid out like other produce. It is also available warm, under plastic wrap, in the hot deli foods section.


                                                                  Koreans also make a tea out of roasted corn kernels (just as they do with roasted barley).

                                                                    1. re: borntolovefood

                                                                      I grew up in Korea and steamed corn is a popular street food. Korean corns are more starchy with less water and have that really good chewy texture I love. It is indeed very addictive. I have bought those frozen corn from H mart and found them to be too tough if you don't eat them right away. I haven't seen them fresh but there must be places you can find them fresh.

                                                                      1. re: borntolovefood

                                                                        I saw that corn in the freezer at the Asian market today! Several brands,several colors, but looking like it wasn't packaged right for the freezer....I had some trepidation. Might try it , though.

                                                                        Here is the evergreen website

                                                                        Is it STICKY corn.?

                                                                      2. In some parts of South America--Chile, Argentina, Uruguay it is generally not eaten on the cob (maybe someone somewhere does it). In Chile chunks of the cob with kernels on it are in a soup called "cazuela."

                                                                        1. And one more thing, the cob bits in the soup are eaten generally with a fork and a knife, not hands --that would be seen as uncivilized or bad-mannered.

                                                                          1. In Iran it is popular street food. Sellers grill it over charcoal and then cool it in salt water.

                                                                            1. Popular in India and Malaysia as well. Grilled until they have a nice char to them. No butter.

                                                                              1. Thailand, too. Street food.

                                                                                1. Peruvians eat different varieties of corn; the bigger one called choclo (kind of like fresh hominy still on the cob) and roasted and salted smaller kernels called cancha (as a snack), especially when they eat ceviche or parihuela (seafood soup). I believe this goes back centuries (maybe millenia), like their potato cultivating and eating. Peruvian food is so ancient it's futuristic.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: staughton

                                                                                    What about onions, bread, lamb, chicken, various other meats that came from the Old World with the Spanish? Not to mention avocados, which the Spanish seem to bring down from Central America, and then there are various fruits: apples, mangos, oranges, etc... that also did not exist in Peru in "ancient times." Their food is no more ancient than a lot of other places.

                                                                                    1. re: Wawsanham

                                                                                      I didn't say it was "more ancient" than any other place and my comment does not preclude any trading of culinary traditions, but if you knew more about world culinary history (and also took that defensive rod out of your behind), you'd know that very few Europeans are eating food prepared the same way it was hundreds of years ago. Peruvians (since the Incas), on the other hand, have some of the oldest, still-in-use methods of cultivating and cooking food on the planet. For instance, their method of freeze-drying particular varieties of potatoes that is many centuries old, and was even used in 20th Century space flight.

                                                                                  2. The roasted variety is sold on the streets in Greece. Some of the older people shun it because corn was strictly livestock feed in their day but the younger people like it fine.