Posted by: David | August 13, 2007

Cornshucking Technique

Isn’t that a fun title for a post? First title was “New Cornshucking Technique”, but dropped the “New” once I started thinking about the trillions of ears of corn shucked by our forefathers and foremothers, and realized that it was impossible that someone could not have noticed this before I did. Isn’t that always the case?

So yeah, the corn is ready, and we’ve been eating a lot of it.

So here’s the little trick. Grasp the dried part of the silk and try to snap it off as cleanly and closely to the husk as possible.


Then try to divide the circle of sheared silks and husks in two and peel back a little. It’s like parting hair. Try to make sure that every silk is on one side or the other. Yeah, you have to look at it.


You should be able to pull off the husks and silks in two pieces. If you gathered the silks carefully and kept a good grip on them, they should peel away with the husks pretty well and leave a surprisingly silk-free ear.

No, I didn’t brush off any silks for the photo. Honest.

I think why this works (my study is limited to the several dozen ears harvested in the past week) is because the silks all pass through that circle and there may be pulled with maximum leverage from their kernels.

Another thing learned about corn today is that it can be stripped off the ears while still raw, and then prepared for freezing. In the past, we’ve always blanched the ears in boiling water first, cooled, then stripped them and bagged for the freezer. Maybe we could just strip the raw ears, then blanch the freed kernels in the pot by just bringing to a boil. Once dispensed into the freezer bags and flattened, it cools rapidly, and freezes fast in the deep freeze. I wonder what corn would be like if it was frozen RAW? I should try that.


  1. This is completely unknown here. A couple of years ago corn was available only in special health shops. Because of Latin immigration, I can now buy ground corn in many places and make polenta, which the Swiss know because of Italian immigration; it is ground corn cooked along with all kinds of things and served with meat or cheese.

    But I have never tried your American way of eating that complete cone, though I have seen cones like that packed tightly in plastic looking not very inspiring.

    Somehow that is completely amazing! Most of what I know about Spanish culture comes from Central and South America, where corn is widely used.

    Agriculturally, corn is probably not very efficient in comparison to smaller grains like wheat, oats, or rice. Corn plants are gigantic and require lots of resources from the soil. Which is probably why the USA are so enamored of it.

  2. I am so glad it happened to you. Look up there, where the third photo should be. It disappeared, didn’t it? Why? Do you know?

    It happened to me again this morning. I looked at the HTML and it looked strange, but I could not figure whether it was wrong. As this happens from time to time, I checked the “media library” and saw the picture there and nothing wrong with it. I tried this way and that, but finally had to load it up again from my computer.

    It’s impossible to account for such errors in the incredible volume of web traffic. WordPress’s servers are probably straining a little under the load of all of our trillions of words. I’ve been using Blogdesk (thanks to you) from time to time because I don’t like the Media Library functionality. But I have not figured out how to get blogdesk to post my pix with linkage to slightly larger versions. So I end up having to re-link the photos with the Media Library anyway.

  3. Maybe corn needs a lot of water, but so does rice, and there are large rice plantations in Valencia. Corn is unknown. Sometimes I show somebody the jar of ground corn and they smile at it politely.

    In Switzerland we have Birchermüesli (oats soaked in milk or fruit juice) with whipped cream and fruits, but oats are also new here. When I explained, I was told that “oh, but we give that to our horses.”

    Corn requires lots of water and everything else plants need too. A real hog of a grass is corn. If that sentence makes any sense. It’s the grain of the Americas I guess. Big and wasteful. The grain we feed our horses has lots of corn in it.

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