Don’t Toss Your Corn Cobs — Use Them to Make a Simple but Flavorful Ingredient

published Jun 25, 2021
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Credit: Christine Gallary

When I first heard “corn milk,” I was a little trepidatious — TikTok trends vary from useful and cool to, well, watermelon with mustard, and corn milk seemed like it could go either way. I thought it might go the way of the not particularly endearing Jack Whitehall sketch. But no, this is an actual flavored milk, and when I started watching the video from a Philadelphia pastry chef, it hooked me — I love a good way to reuse food scraps that would otherwise end up in the compost bin.

“Everything in a kitchen costs money,” the narration explains in a sort of pleasing deadpan, “so if you can get extra uses out of it, you should.” It then demonstrates how to take cobs stripped of their corn, cover them with milk, add salt, then let it steep so you have corn milk. “Milk that … tastes like corn,” it says hesitatingly. But, corn milk “is better than you think it might be” — that is, “if you like corn.”

The comments on the original video offer more suggestions, including using corn milk as the start to corn chowder, for a horchata-style drink or atole, in making béchamel sauce, and for cornbread. One user mentions that they used it in a crème Anglaise to top rice pudding and another mentions corn cob jelly. “Basically anything that uses milk that you want to add a corn flavor, too,” says the original poster.