06 August 2020, The Tablet

Darling buds of maize

The Ethical Kitchen

Darling buds of maize


AUGUST is the month of sweetcorn – on the cob, of course. You will be seeing them in their real state, not stripped of their papyrus-like leaves and sealed in plastic but whole in their boxes outside the greengrocers. To me, cobs of corn represent more than 50 summers, every bite a burst of savoury sugariness; of butter melting on my chin and of bits stuck between my teeth.

The sooner a cob of corn is eaten after cooking, the better – before the sugars turn to starch. Inspect them – if the greengrocer will allow you to in these new normal times – by pulling apart the enclosing leaves. If the kernels look wrinkly, the cobs are not just-picked and will be starchy. If they are pale yellow and plump as balloons, they will be heaven to eat, simmered for seven minutes then dressed with melted butter, salt and pepper. This is as good as it gets with corn cobs though you can chargrill for extra toffee-ness.

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