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Sep 29, 2013 02:41 PM

How should I store fresh corn on the cob, really?

I bought a few ears of corn on the cob from my favorite stand at the Farmer's Market yesterday and intended on making it for dinner today. But the main course ended up flopping (remind me to tell you about my London Broil saga another time) and so I'm making pasta instead. We can have the corn tomorrow, but I'm worried it will be mush by then. I Googled and there are about 50 different suggestions on how to do it (one of which is blanching it for 7 minutes and then freezing it and then cooking it again for 5 minutes when you pull it out. Is she kidding? I don't cook my fresh corn 7 minutes.) So what do you think? Does my corn stand a chance to make it another day? Is stashing it in the fridge, still in its husk, the best alternative? Thanks in advance!

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  1. I love corn with pasta, I would try to incorporate it into tonight's dinner. I've made corn and blue cheese sauce for pasta, spicy tomato,corn and zucchini sauce with any kind of cheese, ie ricotta, Parmesan....I have made corn risotto with Parmesan that was delicious. It is nice to go out of the box a little.

    1. Assuming you've kept it in the fridge, it won't be mush but you're already well past the point of having delicious, fresh-tasting corn. As soon as corn is picked, the sugars start turning to starch. Corn should be cooked within a few hours of picking, and certainly the day of. You should probably cut the raw kernels off the cob, sautee in butter or bacon grease, scrape the milk off the cob, and add that to the pan once the kernels are finished.

      When I buy corn, I microwave it as is, 3 ears laid in triangular formation, as soon as I get in the door. About 5-6 minutes for 3 ears, 2-2.5 minutes for one. Shuck when it's no longer too hot to handle. Husks and silks will come off in "one swell foop", as a friend likes to say. Now that it's cooked, the sweetness is locked in. I refrigerate and nuke as needed over the course of several days, or cut off the kernels and freeze.

      1 Reply
      1. Things happen. I've held farm bought corn for a couple of days and it is still stellar, compared to the grocery store. I am amazed that people have gone from that level to I can't even eat it after 24 hours. Please, enjoy!

        1. Many of the varieties grow today do not turn to starch the way older varieties did.

          3 Replies
          1. re: chefj

            This is exactly right. Unfortunately, there's often only one or two people on a farm who can tell you exactly which cultivar they're growing and in my experience those aren't the people who go to the farmer's market on sales days.

            But in case you find a farmer knowledgeable about his own crops, the old corn cultivars, the ones which lose their sweetness very quickly, are knows as (su) or (su-1) corn. Corns known as (se) are sugar enhanced. They still lose sugar, but they start with a much higher amount so it's less noticeable. And there are (sh) or (sh-2) varieties. These convert sugar to starch much more slowly than other cultivars and have a pretty good shelf life.

            Many people claim that some of the corn flavor is lost on the newer cultivars. I'll leave that to individual tastes.

            It's worth noting that these are not GMO crops. Well, they are, but they were modified the old-fashioned way by selective breeding rather than having a gene inserted. Some people draw a distinction between those methods.

            1. re: nokitchen

              You where right they are not GMO, they do not have other Organism's Genes spliced into them, They are just Hybrids

              1. re: nokitchen

                My favorite corn stand used to put a sign up for the varieties they had that week but I think the new grower in the family just succession plants one variety now. I found another stand that puts up a sign so I was able to determine the corn I bought was sugar enhanced. I think we consumers should campaign for variety labels.
                I do think the corn flavor isn't as good in some of these new varieties but also agree it's a matter of taste. I've held freshly picked corn still in the husk in the frig for a few days. I wouldn't have tried that with an older variety that wasn't sugar enhanced. I have also had good luck cooking the corn as usual and then putting leftover husked, cooked ears in a plastic bag in the fridge to re-heat in the microwave on another day.

            2. Fresh corn in the husk should last for up to a week in the refrigerator. Yes, it's best to eat right away, but if I'm using it in a dish, it can sit for several days. I eat it off the cob first, and save remaining ears for cooking in dishes.
              Love it in chili!