I've been reading Carol Deppe's book The Resilient Gardener and now I'm suddenly enamoured with corn. Deppe has wonderful information on how to grow different kinds of corn, and some rather amazing recipes on how to use them. And here I was thinking there is just two kinds - cow and sweet.
Now I want to know all about corn from a culinary point of view. What is it like in the kitchen? What do you look for when you buy xyz to make zyx? What's your favourite kind of corn to work with? Were you just like me and had no idea there were so many kinds, and each kind had specific uses?
Here's an overview of some of the different kinds that Deppe mentions in her book:
Flint - A hard corn, good for using in polenta, some cornbreads, it's your basic cornmeal corn. Flint tastes best when boiled/cooked on the hob. Used dry.
Flour - this is mills up to a soft flower, excellent apparently, for substituting in gluten free recipes with very mild modification. Tastes best when baked. Great for breads and possibly pancakes. Deppe also has a recipe for sponge cake that uses only corn flour from flour corn and looks fantastic. Used dry.
Dent - Basically half flint, half flour, has the characteristics of both. Deppe says they need to be both boiled and baked to taste good. Used dry.
Sweet - Yummy fresh sweet corn, if fresh it tastes great raw, otherwise boil as corn on the cob. Can also be dried and cooks added to soups. I wonder, how else do you use your fresh sweet corn? Mostly used fresh.
Pop and parch corn - Pop corn we all know, but there is also parching corn which is usually red or purple coloured, and you can parch them in a fry pan or microwave with no oil at all. I never tried parching corn, but apparently it's amazing. Used dry.
I know I've missed something out, but it's enough to get us talking about corn. Fresh, dry, flour, meal, popped and parched, which is your favourite?
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