Summertime means corn season, and plenty of fresh ears for all those warm-weather favorites. Most of the corn you find at the farmers market is sweet corn, commonly available in white, yellow, or bicolor varieties. Corn on the cob is great when grilled or sautéed, especially when served with a herbed Compound Butter or dusted with a mild cheese like Feta Cheese or Cotija Cheese. Corn kernels can be shaved off of the cob and used for Succotash, Maque Choux, or Corn Fritters. Cooked corn can also be puréed for soups and sauces, or made into Corn Milk, a cream substitute.
Beyond the ears, other parts of the corn plant are also edible. Both fresh and dried corn husks are used as wraps for tamales and corn dumplings. They can also be added to a steamer to flavor fish and vegetables. Huitlacoche, a fungus also known as corn smut or corn truffle, lends an earthy note to a sauce or as a filling for Enchiladas and other Latin dishes.
Corn is one of the largest crops grown throughout the Americas. The bulk of the maize harvest—close to 98 percent in the U.S.—comes from varieties known as field corn, cultivated for biofuels like ethanol, processed foods like corn syrup and breakfast cereals, as well as animal fodder. Within the field corn family, varieties of flint corn (also known as Indian corn) and dent corn are grown for use in dried corn products like polenta, grits, masa harina, and cornmeal.
Popcorn, although not strictly field corn, is closely related. Its kernels, dried on the cob, pop open when heated in oil or hot air. Popped kernels can be flavored in many ways, both sweet and savory, and used as a snack or garnish.
(click on the links for more information)Varieties & Parts Of CornWhite Corn, Yellow Corn, Red Corn, Baby Corn, Popcorn, Corn Husk, Corn Smut/ Huitlacoche, Popcorn ShootByproductsCornmeal, Corn Flour, Masa Harina, Hominy, Corn Milk, Corn Oil, Corn Syrup, CornstarchDishesCorn Cake, Cornbread, Corn Fritter , Succotash, Maque Choux, Salmon And Corn Chowder, Grits, Scrapple, Polenta, Polenta Cake, Tamale