By Cindy Rowland
Rosedale Farms & Vineyards
25 East Weatogue St.
Simsbury, CT 06067
Until I met my husband, I was perfectly happy with any and all corn on the cob. I’m not one to argue with a food that is drenched in melted butter and sprinkled with copious amounts of salt. But my husband usually described the corn we ate as overripe. Somewhere buried in his taste buds was the memory of the corn his family grew in their vegetable garden when he was a boy. And he was not content to settle for anything less.
Finally, we picked up some corn on the cob from Rosedale’s in Simsbury, Connecticut. After a few dinners featuring Rosedale’s Silver corn on the cob, I was thoroughly converted. When the corn is perfectly ripe, the kernels feel like they pop into your mouth the instant they make contact with your teeth. The firm skin of the kernel bursts to reveal a bright, sunny, and sweet interior. It’s a world apart from the corn I’d eaten most of my life.
Rosedale’s owner, Marshall Epstein, says that the farm’s sandy soil is responsible for the corn’s superiority. He also prizes taste over yield when it comes to selecting the varieties that will be grown on the farm. His passion extends into a quest for the perfect green bean, rare heirloom tomatoes, and bell peppers that come in every color of the rainbow. Most importantly, Epstein harvests corn at its peak and does not allow it to become overripe, sometimes harvesting twice a day if necessary.
Now I understand that corn on the cob should be selected with care. I no longer “peek” at the corn by peeling back the husk. This is frowned upon because it decreases the likelihood that the cob will be fresh when it is consumed. I look for cobs that aren’t too big thinking they are less likely to be overripe. I also examine the husk for any discoloration or worm holes. Worms and the damage they have caused are usually easy to chop off the ear after it has been shucked, but they are best avoided altogether.
To cook corn on the cob, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a rolling boil. Plunge as many shucked ears of corn into the water as will fit comfortably. Cover and remove from heat. Wait anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes. Usually we time a meal around the corn and it is the last part of the meal to be prepared so we can be sure to serve it the moment it is ready. Retrieve cooked ears of corn from the pot with tongs as needed. Leave the rest of the ears to sit in the pot of warm water. Surprisingly, they can be held this way for quite a while. They will stay warm and ready for rolling in butter and dusting with salt. Enjoy!
Cindy Rowland (@fixmeasnack) lives in Granby, Connecticut. When she isn’t eating corn on the cob, she’s developing healthy snack recipes and chronicling her family’s snacking adventures on her blog, Fix Me A Snack.