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The corn challenge

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Posted: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 9:18 am

Enjoying a delicious ear of corn on the cob is one of my favorite treats. For decades, a carefully calculated corn eating system has crowned me the corn eating champion in my family. My corn eating technique leaves my corncob clean as a whistle. The secret is to use the bottom teeth only. My time tested skill is as follows:

• Carefully position hands on each end of the cob.

• Gently press bottom teeth between a row of kernels.

• Turn the cob downward extracting a few kernels from a single row. Continue to the end of the row making sure to remove the entire kernel. Repeat process, enjoying every sweet corn niblet.

• Corncob will be squeaky clean with no stubborn wispy fragments remaining.

• When finished, hold your cob up in the air for all to see, challenging others to see who has the cleanest corncob.

When selecting fresh corn on the cob from a local fruit stand, farmer’s market, or the grocery store, look for plump ears with tight, green husks hosting kernels in close fitting rows. Silk should be moist and free flowing. For optimal flavor, cook corn the day purchased.

Corn can be prepared in a variety of ways, and even eaten raw as a nice addition to summer salads. Cooking methods include boiling, steaming, roasting or grilling. When using a wet cooking process, shuck corn by removing the husk and silk. Rinse corn and boil or steam in unsalted water for five to seven minutes or until tender. The addition of salt tends to harden kernels and lessen flavor.

Dry cooking methods include roasting, grilling or broiling with the husk intact. Soak ears in water for several minutes prior to cooking to retain moisture. Drain excess water and place corn in roasting pan, on broiler or grill turning frequently for uniform doneness. Cooking time varies between five to ten minutes. Remove husks and silk using oven mitts to prevent burns.

With the addition of butter, salt, and pepper, corn is a delicious summertime treat. Enjoy fresh corn on the cob at your next gathering, and try to capture the title corn eating champion. Good luck!

Bernadine Chapman-Cruz is a contributing writer for Big Monkey Group Publications assigned to Buzz on Bizz for Lodi Monthly and Manteca Monthly Magazines. Raised in Stockton, she lives in Lodi with her husband, a cat named “L” and dog, “Forest.” She enjoys writing, cooking and dining out.

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