Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Corn Checks

When I was ten, I flew to Oregon all by myself to visit my grandparents for two weeks.  It was the best - onion sandwiches and cream soda for lunch, Grandma's chocolate chip cookies whenever I wanted.  Grandma taught me to embroider and Grandpa taught me gardening.  He had a little cherry tree in the back yard that we pruned and nurtured lovingly together.  And a couple of rows of corn in the empty lot just behind them.

I learned that corn grows fast - it seemed to grow from about knee-high to past my head in the time I was there!  I had to leave before harvest time, but after that trip, and for years to come, Grandpa would call or write to give me updates on our cherry tree and corn "field."  Corn was always my favorite vegetable as a kid.

I still like corn.  Sometimes I even love it.  I have to say this, and write it, because I've been ridiculously called into question on this point.  A long time ago, at Dessert Club, I happened to mention that I don't like corn in sweet settings.  It was an off-hand comment!  But what everyone seemed to hear was, "I don't like corn EVER."  And from that point I've been known as the girl who doesn't like corn.  Even got accused of it by a DC husband.  Not cool. 

It came up again, to my eternal torment, at our last meeting, and I again had to defend myself, "I like corn, I like it!"  Had some really good corn on the cob from a West Virginia farmstand just last weekend, mmm.  But corn, as a sweet-savory vegetable-grain, is as versatile as ingredients come, and, in fact, I don't always like it. 

Today's Washington Post Food Section's feature article is all about this golden treasure of summer.  And reading it through made both my mouth water, and my stomach turn.  What is the deal, I wondered?  Why do I like some corn things and not others?  Is it texture?  Flavor combos?  I feel defensive; I don't want to be known as the girl that doesn't like what is one of my favorite veggies, er, grains.

So I listed things out, from YUM to BLECH, to see what I could see.

Corn on the cob 
Frozen/fresh corn - cooked, on salads, whatever
Tortillas, tortilla chips, Fritos
Cereals: corn flakes, corn pops, Cap'n Crunch, corn chex, etc.
Cornmeal as a dusting, like on pizza crust, English muffins, bread
Pancakes that contain some cornmeal
Corn salsa

It Depends
Canned corn - fine in things, but not alone
Corn bread, corn muffins
Cornmeal crust on pastries
Corn chowder
Corn relish

Corn fritters
Corn cakes

No Thank You
Creamed corn
Mashed corn

Corn ice cream
Corn pudding
Corn caramel custard (like flan)
Corn milk

I guess it's a texture thing - crunch is good, mush is bad.  Savory is better than sweet.  I also guess it's a palate thing - when it comes to corn, I am as complicated as the kernel itself.

1 comment:

Celeste Elaine said...

I am with you on canned corn; the only time I like that would be in soups and maybe breads. Too syrupy.

Frozen and fresh corn is delicious.

And my family has always loved spoon bread. That might cross your mushy line.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...