Valley Bounty: Corn

It would be challenging to overstate the prominence of corn in modern America. It’s in our cars (as ethanol), in our meat (as livestock feed), and spread through most of the products in your average grocery store (as corn oil or corn syrup). It is by far the largest product of U.S. agriculture, but of the over 300 million tons of corn we grow annually, only about 1.5 million are the sweet summer variety we picture when we think of corn-on-the-cob. Despite the high profile of corn in our national and global food system, local sweet corn is a delicious summer staple that’s with us for just a short window.

Boiled or grilled corn-on-the-cob is a classic for a reason, but if you’re looking to spice things up a bit, try whipping up some elotes, a Mexican preparation that adds in some additional flavors. Mix together ¼ cup mayo, ¼ cup sour cream, ½ cup finely grated cheese (Cojita is the standard, but if you can’t find that you can substitute feta or parmesan), a healthy pinch of chili powder, and a handful of cilantro. Then, roast your ears of corn on the grill or under the broiler until they’ve got a nice even char.  Coat the corn in the sauce and you’re ready to serve, with a wedge of lime to squeeze on just before eating.

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)