Some call it “corn-stick,” others go with “sweet pole,” but we like to call it amazing — especially when you use those cute plastic corn on the cob handles. National Corn on the Cob Day falls on June 11 — the perfect pre-summer date. (Although, for most home gardens, mid-June is still too early for the harvest.) But you can’t blame anyone for being in a hurry. The sweetness doesn’t hang around for very long. It has to be picked at its freshest, otherwise there’s a risk of — nothing really — it’s just slightly less incredible tasting.
Note: If you plan on doing the picking yourself, there’s a trick to spotting when the corn is ready. During the milk stage, the kernels are still soft, and this is nature’s way of saying “come and get it!” Boil it, steam it, roast it, or grill it — there’s no wrong or right method as long as it stays on that cob.
National Corn on the Cob Day timeline
10,000 years ago
Farmers begin domesticating corn in what is now present-day Mexico.
Evolution of Corn
Owing to new sowing techniques, kernels of corn become an inch long.
George Beadle discovers that teosinte and modern corn’s chromosomes are compatible.
Sweet corn is developed by Professor John Laughnan of the University of Illinois.
National Corn on the Cob Day Activities
Go to a parade
Yep, there's a parade. It's in Plainview, Minnesota, which might be a bit far for some, but if you really love corn, you'll make the trip. Trust us, it's worth it. There are street dancers, a talent show, and a soap box derby. Have you ever seen a soap box derby in real life? It's a real treat that only gets better with a side of corn...but only if you're not driving.
Share your pics on social media
If you're lucky enough to attend the parade in Minnesota, upload some videos. There's a lot of corn lovers out there who'd really appreciate it. And don't forget to tag everything with #NationalCornOnTheCobDay.
Brush up on corn trivia
Hold a trivia night centered on facts about corn. It has a fascinating history and some of its uses will surprise you (in a good way). You'll also have the chance to decide the argument over how to eat corn on the cob correctly. Many people say as long as you hold both ends you're good to go, but you know better. According to etiquette experts, you should butter a few rows at a time, and then eat moving side to side like a typewriter. (Or a keyboard if you're under 80.)
Why We Love National Corn on the Cob Day
A reason for each season(ing)
Nothing wrong with salt and butter, but something with more pizzazz, like say, miso butter, could offer an interesting twist. If you’re in the mood for a bite that packs a kick, look no further than Jamaican jerk curry mayo and coconut. And for those who love everything crispy, there's batter-fried corn. When has deep-frying ever let anyone down?
It’s incredibly versatile
When it's not on the cob, we mainly think of corn as snack to eat at the movies. But it's also a key ingredient in medicines and substances we use everyday. For example, antibiotics, hand soap, ethanol, and even fireworks owe a lot to those little yellow kernels. So the next time you watch fireworks on Independence Day , show your solidarity by munching down a piece of corn. You could say it's your patriotic duty.
It's the perfect excuse for a cookout
It's not summer if you don't throw some corn on the grill. And where there's a grill, there's a BBQ. After getting through the winter, there's nothing sweeter than chilling (in the warm sense) outside. Sweet corn is just the icing on the cake — not literally, but with the right recipe it could be. A silly example, we know, but a cookout's all about shooting the breeze and having a good laugh, and corn is a great excuse for a party.
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