Saturday, August 16

You call it fresh corn buzz-kill, biologists call it peroxidase and catalase

No matter what you call it, be sure to refrigerate, cook or blanch and freeze your cobs allowing the least amount of time to pass following picking. If you don't, enzymes in the corn will eat it for lunch.

Corny Story
Once corn leaves it's stalk, nothing good happens. Enzymes (see title) in the corn get to work converting the delicious natural sugars into starch. After just a few hours, your corn could be well on its way to what my dear old grandma used to call 'horse corn'. Yummmm!

Refrigeration slows the process, but the easiest way to stop it entirely is the boiling point. So if you find yourself with an armload of freshly picked corn, blanch the excess and freeze it rather than leaving of in your crisper drawer (or worse on the counter!)

Blanching Method
Drop shucked and cleaned cobs into boiling water for five minutes. Reomove the corn to an ice bath, cool completely to arrest cooking, then dry, wrap in plastic, bag on a zipper bag and freeze.

Once you've gotten your freezer packed, and whenever you're hankering for the fresh flavor of corn, drop into boiling water for 2 minutes or bring to room temperature and shave off the cob with a knife for fresh kernel flavor. You may be tempted to dekernelize your corn before freezing, but don't, it won't keep nearly as well as freezing it right on the cob.

The Slightly Whackadoo Chemical Method
There's a plan out there for food geeks who don't see the point in freezing when chemicals can do the job. According to Alton Brown in an episode of Good Eats, by adding some lime and a tiny bit of bleach, you can effectively deactivate starchifying corn enzymes right in your kitchen sink. That's all I'm going to say about that for now.

1 comment:

  1. I like to zap my corn in a microwave. Will that work just as well as blanching when it comes to stopping the march of the enzymes?

    As for your dear old grandma, God bless her and her "horse corn." They don't make grandma's the way they used to.