Thursday, 25 September 2014

How to Eat the Best Sweetcorn

Posted by Rosie

I mentioned a while a go that I really needed a good early Autumn for some of our vegetables to reach harvest size. I am pleased to say that so far, September has been fabulous and the harvests are still rolling in.  The forecast is looking fine for the next week too, although the nights definitely on the chilly side more often now.  And the mornings come to think of it as I found out when I drove the the bus stop in my PJs today!!  I am also of frost watch as a few years ago we got our first frost of the Autumn on September 28th.

Late September harvest at Eco-Gites of Lenault
Clockwise from top left - 
Chard, Carrots, Pears, Yellow Courgettes
Savoy Cabbage, Sweetcorn, French Beans

The sweetcorn was sown horribly late in the polytunnel as part of a 3 sisters experiment (which I will write about in more detail another time).  Trying to get sweetcorn seeds in France is difficult as the French perceive sweetcorn more as animal feed that something delicious to chomp on, so few places stock seeds!  They do buy tinned sweetcorn to eat cold in salads but French friends have been amazed that we grow sweetcorn to eat on the cob or even that we eat the tinned corn as part of a hot dish.  Oh well, that's their loss!  Tese cobs were grown from seeds sent over by my lovely friend Andrea and they have done so well.  They are the most tender and sweet I think that I have ever grown.

The freshest sweetcorn possible

One of the reasons the sweetcorn tastes so good is because it is so fresh.  I remember Geoff Hamilton (my gardening inspiration) being asked once how long harvested sweetcorn would keep.  He answered thus:

"Head into the kitchen and put a large pan of water on to boil.  Amble to your vegetable patch, and pick the cobs.  Then run like the wind back to the kitchen, peel them and pop them in the water straight away!"

You see, as soon as the sweetcorn is picked the sugars that make it so sweet begin to change to far less tasty starch.  This is why I would never buy sweetcorn because however fresh they claim to be, they will never be as fresh as the ones we can cook within seconds of picking them.

Do you grow sweetcorn and if so have you noticed how much sweeter it tastes than shop bought ones?  

Time then, for my regular link up with Annie's weekly gardening blog linky over at Manneskjur.  Do pop over and have a nose around some other gardening blogs.



  1. i agree, I've only ever grown sweetcorn once successfully a few years ago now and it tasted absolutely gorgeous. Nowhere like the shop bought ones. I tend to stick to frozen because at least they're able to retain the sugars if they're immediately frozen.

    1. It's hard to get frozen in France but the tinned is OK for throwing in stews or salads.

  2. My husband - who's Canadian - always goes on about how the best sweetcorn has to be absolutely freshly picked! It does make a huge difference in taste.

  3. I never knew the French viewed corn that way, what a shame! I'm in love with this braised sweetcorn with chilli and lime recipe:, you should check it out.

  4. Ooo I need to go and pick some quick smart! I missed a trick at a festival last weekend where people were picking them and them roasting them on campfires, they looked divine.
    I can see I'm going to have to be a sweetcorn seed mule next year!
    Thanks for joining in again - and apologies for the delay in commenting and sharing - the joys of being offline - gah!

    1. I have never tried roasting them on a campfire. I must remember this for next year. Sweetcorn mule? So are you planning a visit over here complete with seed supplies?


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