We were busted at the sweet corn bin at Union Square Greenmarket yesterday.
"I hate it when people strip them all down," preached the woman standing next to us. She was referring to the corn on the cob, of course.
She caught us pulling back the husks to make sure each ear of corn looked good. She started a loud conversation, announcing to us corn shoppers that peeking into each ear of corn makes a mess, is unsanitary, and "really just isn't necessary."
She's right, we realized.
Here's some corn on the cob shopping tips we picked up from the the man running the stand: Look for corn with tassels that are brown and sticky to the touch. If the tassels are black or dry, the corn is old. Feel each ear through the husk, without peeling it, to check for even plump kernels.
"But what about bugs?" another shopper asked.
"This is our first batch of the season," the man running the stand said. He explained that bugs are a bigger concern later in the season. Local corn, available now from New York and New Jersey farmers, was planted in March under a plastic cover to make it to market in early July.
White and bi-color corn on the cob is available from many greenmarket vendors this week. The cost is generally $.50 an ear or five for $2.00.
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