It is fairly easy to determine if a tomato or strawberry is ripe, based on its appearance and texture. But how do you know when is the right time to choose an organic sweet corn cob? small hobby farm or in your garden?
How to identify a ripe ear of corn
While corn in a supermarket is usually uniform in size, this is not the case for corn grown at home. Even a small ear can be ready for harvest. To determine if it is time to pick the sweet corn, follow these steps.
- First, make sure you know the number of days until harvest for your particular variety of corn. Check the seed package box or check with your seed supplier to find out. Another guideline is 20 days from when the first tassels appear at the end of the ear of corn.
- When you look at an ear of corn in the garden, you will see tassels at the end of the ear. These tassels, which include corn silk, are the part of the plant that produces and receives pollen. When the corn is ready for harvest, the corn silk turns from a light blonde color to a dark brown. When the corn silk is dark brown down to the husk, you can assume that the corn is ready to eat.
- To re-check the maturity of the corn, remove the husk a bit and take a look at the kernels. Make sure the kernels are filled from the base of the corn cob to the tip of the kernels. Plant. Rub the pimples with your thumbnail. They should feel tender and a little milk will come out as you push your nail against them.
- Hearty corn will have firm, dark green husks. The silk will be dark but will stay tight against the cob. You will be able to feel the individual grains through the shell.
How to collect corn
To properly pick corn, grip the ear firmly, placing your thumb toward the top of the ear and the middle finger closer to the base of the ear. Press the cob against the stem and pull up. That is all! Now your corn is ready to cook and eat.
If your corn is for sale at a farmers market directly from your farm, soak the harvested corn in warm water until you sell or use it. Soaking the corn will help keep it cooler.
How to cook fresh corn
Cook freshly picked corn as soon as possible because as soon as you pick it, the sugar in the kernels begins to turn into starch. In the first 24 hours, corn loses 25 percent of its sugar to starch. Cooked and eaten corn tastes better!
- Boiling is the simplest and most popular way to cook fresh corn on the cob.
- Choose a pot large enough to hold the amount of corn you are cooking, plus enough water to completely cover the ears.
- Bring the water to a boil before harvesting and husking the corn to keep it as fresh as possible.
- Remove the husk and silk, and drop the corn into the boiling water.
- When the water comes back to a boil, remove the corn, and voila!
You can also grill or bake fresh corn. To do this:
- Remove the peel or leave it on. If you decide to leave the husk on the corn, soak it in water to prevent burning.
- If you remove the husk, rub the softened butter into the corn kernels before baking or broiling.
- Roast the corn or bake it at 375 F for 20 to 25 minutes on a baking sheet or directly on the oven rack.