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Toledo Farmers Market

Sweet Corn Is On!

August 2, 2013
By Dawn Troutner - Market Master , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

What a great night for the Toledo Farmers Market. Thirteen vendors were ready to sell to their eager customers. Those vendors were Kristi, Devon, Darold and Ruth, Chuck and Ginger, Dawn, Marie, Brenda, Ethan and Lois, Jim, Linda, Karen, Cheryl, Kathy, Shirley and Michael, the Nieland Girls, and Smokin G's with there mouth watering pulled pork and other items.

Some of the items available were green peppers, egg plant, cucumbers, zucchini, green beans, beets, tomatoes, cabbage, onions, summer squash, cauliflower, kohlrabi, jalapenos, broccoli, garlic, red Russian kale, spaghetti squash, jams, jellies, eggs, all kinds of bakery, ceramics, candles, leather items, greeting cards, seeds, and turkey feathers just to mention a few.

Sugary sweet corn fresh from the patch is a favorite vegetable of many in the summer. Last week Cindy and Calvin had sweet corn at the Toledo Farmers Market. This week everyone was looking for sweet corn. I will be contacting them to see if hopefully they will have some to sell at the next Toledo Farmers Market.

Article Photos

Dawn Troutner
Toledo Market Master

Sweet corn has a fine flavor, but is also a great source of carbohydrates and food energy that also contains some vitamin A, (yellow corn only), minerals, and protein. Not only is sweet corn delicious fresh off the cob, there are other ways to fix sweet corn such as, scalloped dishes, succotash, relishes, fritters, soups and chowders.

Top quality sweet corn ears have fresh, green husks, and the ears are well filled with bright colored, plump, and milky kernels. Sweet corn is divided into three distinct types according to genetic background, normal sugary (SU), sugary enhancer (SE), and supersweet (SH2).

Standard sweet corn varieties contain a "sugary (SU) gene" that is responsible for the sweetness and creamy texture of the kernels. SUs are best if eaten within a very short time of being picked, and husked.

Sugary enhancer hybrids contain the sugary enhancer (SE) gene that significantly raises the sugar content above standard SUs while retaining the tenderness and creamy texture of standard varieties. The taste, tenderness, and texture are outstanding. SEs is the gourmet corns of choice, because they contain the best qualities of both SU and Sh2 types.

Supersweet hybrids contain the shrunken -2 gene and have higher sugar content than the standard SU varieties. The kernels of the extra sweet varieties have a crispy, tough skinned texture and contain low amounts of the water soluble polysaccharides that impact the creamy texture and the corny flavor to other sweet corn varieties. Supersweets (Sh2) should be isolated from any other type of corn tasseling at the same time to ensure sweetness and tenderness.

Sweet corn ears should be picked during the "milk stage" when the kernels are fully formed but not fully mature. This stage occurs about 20 days after the appearance of the first silk strands. Sweet corn stays in the milky stage less than a week.

Be sure to come to market and purchase your sweet corn. Then take it home and try the following Herb blend on the ears.

DRIED HERB BLEND (for corn and other vegetables)

4 tablespoons paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon thyme

Combine all ingredients and pour into a shaker. Use on any vegetable instead of salt.

See you at market.

 
 

 

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