Go Organic: Mouthwatering sweetcorn on the wayBy James Ashford
July 27, 2012
Part of the enjoyment of growing your own organic vegetables is the anticipation. It takes time and effort to nurture something from a small seed to the dinner table and there is so much that can go wrong on the way.
There are slugs and snails to contend with – and boy have we had to do some contending this year.
There is the weather. It’s either too wet or too dry, too hot or too cold.
But when you know something delicious is just around the corner it makes it all worthwhile.
I’ve just this evening spotted the first cobs forming on my sweetcorn and in my mind I’m eating them already.
Almost all the vegetables that you grow yourself will taste better than the ones you can buy, just because they are so much fresher.
Supermarkets pick much of their produce under-ripe and transport it over huge distances before it reaches the shelves.
A few things, like shallots and onions, don’t lose too much flavour but some start losing sweetness the moment they’re picked. And none more so than sweetcorn.
Commercial growers in the States pick their corn in the early morning and pack it into chilled boxes to try to preserve the sweetness, but they are fighting a losing battle.
When you can measure your carbon footprint not in food miles but in food yards, your corn is always going to taste so much nicer.
Picking it at the just the right moment is also very important. Too soon and the cobs will be pale and thin. Too late and the kernels will start to dry out and shrivel.
The best guide is the fine tassels on the ends of the cobs. When they shrivel and turn brown, the sweetcorn is ready to be picked. If you’re not completely sure, you can peel back the leaves from the tip and take a sneaky peek.
Have a pan of water on the boil ready for the freshly picked cobs – a generous knob of butter and a twist of black pepper is all you need.