Sweet corn is a special thing. In my experience, there is no other ingredient that inspires so much debate.
Is this the best of the season? Where did you get it? Oh, but have you tried this place? Every bite seems to draw one opinion or another out of the people at your table. Talking through it seems to be a cottage tradition that can’t be avoided, and sitting on the deck, slowly husking cobs is a quintessential Ontario summer experience.
THREE CORN STANDS TO STOP AT THIS SUMMER
Hewitt’s Sweet Corn
ARDTREA, SIMCOE COUNTY
Highway 11, Northbound
These guys have stands all over Simcoe County, but our go-to is just north of Weber’s. Midland, Barrie and Orillia all have their respective stands too. Bonus: they often have berries, veggies and Niagara peaches on offer too!
Thee Corn Stand
ERAMOSA, WELLINGTON COUNTY
7956 Hwy 7, at Jones Base Line
This family run business has served the Guelph area since 1980. Steve and Barb have 5 children who have all been involved in the business in one way or another and have helped move the stand from farmers’ markets to various locations before settling three stands near Guelph. Note though, they are not open Sundays.
Hudson’s Farm Stand
PAKENHAM, LANARK COUNTY
The 5-Span Bridge, County Road 29
Panmure Farms is owned and operated by the 6th generation Hudsons. When the boys, Bruce and Brian, were growing up, their parents, Graham and Kay, provided them with the opportunity to ”make a little pocket money” selling sweet corn at the end of the lane. This part of the business has since evolved into Hudson’s Farm Fresh produce which now supplies sweet corn and other fresh produce to the Ottawa Valley and the west end of the City of Ottawa.
These are just three of the hundreds of roadside stands selling sweet corn in Ontario. Norfolk County, for instance, is the sweet corn capital of Canada! More than 4,500 acres of sweet corn are grown in the area by more than 45 farms. You can find Norfolk County corn at farmers’ markets across Ontario.
A photo posted by Dee Brun (@onceadeeva) on
HOW TO COOK SWEET CORN
There are loads of different ways to make sweet corn — and most of them are highly debated. People are very serious about this stuff. Some husk, some don’t. Some boil, others grill. You’ll definitely need to experience to find your favorite!
Husk off cooking: Before cooking, remove husk and any remaining bits of silk. If boiling fresh sweet corn, cook for 3 to 4 minutes for young cobs, 5 to 7 minutes for mature cobs. If steaming, cook corn for 7 to 11 minutes, depending on size. For charred marks, place the stripped cobs on the grill for a few minutes until brown on all sides.
Husk on cooking: This is where the barbecue comes in. Soak the large cobs, with green husks, in cold water for at least 30 minutes. To avoid flare up, trim off any loose strands of husks. Place on grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill, turning frequently, for about 20 minutes or until husks are charred and corn is tender. Let cool slightly, peel and enjoy!