Summertime corn: How Sweet it is

If you haven't already indulged in sweet corn this August, then now's the time to head down to your local farmers' market or visit one of many sweet corn farmers harvesting just a few minutes away from your home. Sweet corn will be in season for about another seven weeks, lasting right until the end of September.

Many of our local corn farmers grow several varieties. Shearlea Acres of Ancaster, who you can find Fridays and Saturdays at the Centre Mall Farmers' Market, offers sugar-enhanced varieties that will stay fresh and sweet in your refrigerator for up to five days. Cranston Farms, also in Ancaster, has over 19 varieties of yellow, white, and peaches-and-cream corn for you to check out at their 'Sweet Corn Deli'. Ontario corn is some of the best around. Ben Dikkeboom of Parkside Farms in Waterdown claims to have the best sweet corn in the county. "At least that's what my customers tell me," he chuckled.

While the most common way to cook sweet corn is by boiling or steaming the corn, and eating right off the cob, you can try barbecuing corn or roasting it in the oven by wrapping the corn with its husks soaked in cold water, or by removing the husks and wrapping the corn in aluminum foil for protection. Sweet corn also makes and excellent addition to mixed vegetable or rice dishes, salads, and even soup.

Like most vegetables, sweet corn will taste best soon after it's been picked, so why go for corn that's been sitting around in a grocery store bin when there's plenty of fresh Hamilton sweet corn picked daily just down the road? And all for a better price and taste! Hamilton's very lucky to have sweet corn right it our own backyard, so visit the farms or the markets and take advantage of this tasty item from now right through until September. Need help finding local sweet corn? Just grab a copy of the 2007 Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Map, or visit our online food directory available at:

Contributed by: Graham Jenner

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