By July, there is no denying the change in seasons in produce. But as the titans of spring (like asparagus and artichokes) wind down to their annual period of warm-weather reseeding, another group of vegetables makes their long-anticipated summer harvest debut — including sweet corn.
Sure, we can get corn year-round now, and over the years, as new super sweet varieties have been introduced, some of the off-season product has actually become pretty good. But there is something about the combination of long, warm summer days and satisfyingly light meals that makes corn all that much better.
Depending on spring growing conditions, we also see a marked increase in organic corn availability in July, but supplies can be sporadic depending on how far away the product has to travel.
When selecting corn you should look at the outside condition of the husk and silk as well as the kernels inside. Fresh corn husks should be dark green and moist — the silk (the translucent tendrils that come out of the top of the ear) should be a pale yellow and not brown. I generally peel back about 2 inches of husk to look at the kernels — uniform kernel development almost to the tip ensures maturity.
The neat thing about corn is it seems to be just about everywhere I travel during the summer, and family and friends associate corn with a place (usually nearby) as well as a time of year. And when the "best corn I ever had" story eventually emerges, the source is always different but the story remains essentially the same. And it’s true — the best corn is always grown near you.
— James Parker, global associate perishables coordinator for Whole Foods Market