When it comes to corn, there are a few things you should be wary of when selecting “the freshest” corn. Below are signs to look for on the sensory evaluation portion of selecting the best fresh corn from the crop.When choosing corn, the most important thing to look at is the husk. It should be bright green, wrapped tightly against the corn, and slightly damp. These are the freshest ears! Don’t choose any husks that are starting to yellow or feel dry.
The tassels of corn, also known as “hairs,” are the fluffy gold threads at the top of the husk. These hairs protect the ears from sunlight and rain, but it’s what inside that counts! Before buying your corn, pick up a few stalks and give one or two a gentle pull. The silks attached to each ear should be crisp and full, and if you give the ear a sniff it should smell sweet. If your corn is old, you’ll notice blackened silks and an odor that resembles rotting flesh.
If you want to buy fresh corn on the cob, the best way to tell if it is fresh is to feel the kernels. Squeeze the ear of corn gently while running your fingers up and down the cob. You should be able to feel each kernel through the husk. If you can’t feel anything, then most likely the ear of corn isn’t fresh.The kernels should feel plump and firm with no soft spots or voids. If you don’t squeeze the ear of corn, then you may not realize how soft and mushy it really is. It is very easy to overlook a problem if you do not actually touch and examine your produce.
There’s a chance that if you keep corn in a damp atmosphere, the husks will rot. To prevent this from happening, store them in a dry place.In the fridge, it’s important to treat corn right away. After about three days, it could lose its flavor and texture. If you plan on eating your corn after it’s been refrigerated, microwave it for about two minutes before doing so. This will help restore the texture and make it easier to peel off the husks.
Fresh corn in season is a staple of summertime and we all love to try new recipes with it. Whether it's grilled, roasted, in a soup, or any other way you like it, make sure you get the freshest stuff out there. Corn will lose its sweetness and become starchy rather quickly so when in doubt, pick it up from your local farm stand.