Even if we don’t consume it every day, it’s likely that we regularly come across corn in at least one of its multiple forms. It is one of the world’s largest commodities, with billions of bushels harvested yearly to be pressed into byproducts like toothpaste, aspirin, and shampoo, to name a few. A stable big demand requires constant massive supplies, and so farmers tend to grow their crops to maximum maturations to earn a profit. As a result, the younger, more tender fresh corn is harder to find.
To produce this mini vegetable, a farmer needs to keep a keen eye and watch out for that perfect moment between budding and fruit, when it is still immature and just after the silk starts to appear. This guarantees that it will still be sweet and tender, with that beloved textural crunch. Although baby corn is easily available in the canned food section of most supermarkets, freshly harvested young corn delivers a more satisfying experience.
It is cooked much like regular corn: submerged in salted, boiling water; slapped on a hot grill; or added to a stir-fry. Whichever way you choose, you’ll be rewarded with the corn’s trademark sweetness, only much milder.
Young corn and rye berry porridge
Serves 2 to 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour for spelt, 10 minutes for corn
100 grams rye berries
8 pieces young corn
1 liter chicken broth
100 ml cream
salt and pepper, to taste
50 grams Parmesan (or any mature cheese)
fried bacon (optional)
popped sorghum or popcorn
- Cook the rye berries in chicken broth until tender. This can take up to an hour on low heat.
- Remove the young corn from husks and reserve husks for plating. Chop the corn coarsely and add to the rye berries.
- Cook for 10 minutes until the corn is tender yet still retains some bite.
- Add cream and cheese and incorporate. Season with salt and pepper. Add bacon.
Carefully spoon the hot porridge back into the husks and garnish with seasonal herbs and the popped sorghum or popcorn.
Originally published in F&B Report Vol. 14 No. 5