There's nothing quite like that first bite of juicy Minnesota sweet corn on a hot summer night! Minnesota farmers pick sweet corn every day when it is in season. They pick sweet corn early in the morning when temperatures are cool, because warm temperatures speed the change of sugar to starch. Fresh corn on the cob will lose up to 40% of its sugar content after 6 hours of room temperature storage, and will gradually lose sugar content even if it is refrigerated. This is one reason why fresh, local sweet corn tastes better than anything that has been shipped in from far away.
What to look for:
When selecting your sweet corn, look for ears with brown, dried silk on the ends. You can even slightly peel back the husk to check for plump kernels. Sweet corn is best when it is fresh and stored properly. Leave the husk intact and store it in the refrigerator. Do not keep it in a plastic bag or airtight container.
For a tasty spin:
Try gently peeling back the husks and silk, and coating the kernels with toppings or spices. Have you ever thought of sprinkling cinnamon and crushed pecans over your buttered cob? Love the simplicity of butter and salt? Try butter, parsley, and Parmesan cheese. For spicier flavors, try sour cream, red pepper flakes or chili powder, cayenne pepper, and Parmesan cheese.
- Eat it fresh on the cob. Rinse the ears, then boil in water for 5-8 minutes.
- Corn kernels can be cut off the cobs, cooked and served fresh or added to salads, casseroles, crepes, or pancakes
- After rinsing the husks to avoid burning, roast the corn in the husks in a fire pit, an oven or on the grill.
- Cook the corn and freeze it for later.
Freeze for later:
Sweet corn is easy to freeze and re-heat. It's best to use a vacuum sealer or freezer-safe plastic bag within the first five to seven days after picking. Cook the corn first (boiling cobs for 5-8 minutes), then quickly cool the corn by placing it in ice water. You can freeze the whole cob or remove the kernels and package them in portion-sized, freezer-safe bags. Don't forget to date your bags! Sweet corn can last up to 12 months in the freezer so you can enjoy this summer staple all year long.