Is it cynical to think that farmers hoping to support their living by selling produce at farm markets do themselves a disservice by growing the new supersweet varieties of sweet corn?
This corn is always sweet, if not tender, no matter how far it's been shipped or how long it has been refrigerated. But, other than sweet it has no taste at all.
Late August I stopped at a popular, prosperous local farm market for some corn. It was a hot, humid day. I asked a young employee when the frigid corn I was examining was picked.
He said, "Just 10-minutes ago."
"Then why is it so cold?" I asked.
He stumbled a second or two and then explained,
"We just rinsed it off with cold water."
The corn was completely dry, too cold to have been so deeply chilled by a spritz of cold water.
I drove on to another market. But I found no fresh picked flavorful variety of sweetcorn anywhere--this in a region renowned for agriculture.
Why have farmers done this to themselves? Weeks old supersweet corn I can buy (but never do) at the supermarket. The reason I go to my local farm market is to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables with old-timey flavor and optimal nutrition. If, at the same time, my few dollars help preserve local agriculture, and the farming families producing our food, so much the better. I'd rather my dollars stay on the North Coast keeping its economy moving, than send it to the economies of California, Florida, Chile or China. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)
Today in my local paper there's a short "cooking tip" in the "living section." It was obviously written from a press kit handout mentioned, The Fresh Supersweet Corn Council ( Who knew?!) The 'tip" suggests consumers add flavor to their supersweet corn by glazing it with orange-honey-soy sauce, or mustard butter, herbed oil & Parmesan cheese, etc.
Wouldn't be better if farmers just grew sweet corn of the old-fashioned, flavorful, fresh picked kind?