Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Close the window, please
Our fruit market has the habit of cutting windows in its corn, presumably so you can see whether the ear looks good. I'm not sure what you might expect to see in a window that would cause you to not buy the corn -- in my experience, when corn is disappointing it's because the top inch or so hasn't developed its kernels fully, or if a worm has somehow gotten in there -- neither of which you'd be likely to see through the window. I wonder how long it takes the guy in the back to cut all those needless holes.
But my big complaint: the windows prevent you from sticking the corn in the oven to roast, a technique I like if I'm already making chicken or baked potatoes or something else. (I stick the ears in exactly as they come from the market, on a cookie sheet in case they leak, for about a half hour at 400, give or take, whatever temperature I'm using for the rest of the meal.)
Once this year I really wanted to roast some corn with windows so I cobbled together some extra husks to cover the hole, tied on with some husk and pinned in place with toothpicks. It sort of worked, although the part under the window was a lot more done than the rest of the ear.
So now I ask the guy at the market if he has any corn with no windows. He always does, and I haven't found a bad ear yet. If you ask me, cutting windows has no upside. But I guess it's part of some marketing mystique.