The other day at lunch we were talking about food — it was lunch, after all — and the topic turned to sweet corn. Why not? It’s one of the foods that make summer in America the best season of the year, and any drive through rural Ohio will take you past a sweet corn stand in front of a family farmhouse.
The Jersey Girl mentioned that she’s intentionally failed to advise her kids that most people eat sweet corn liberally smeared with butter. She prefers it plain, and now her kids do, too. At some point, they’ll go to a cookout on a bright summer day where burgers and sweet corn are being served and they’ll slowly realize that everybody else is eating their ears slathered style and decide they have to try to butter option. Until then, they’ll enjoy the natural sweetness, unaided. Me, I like my corn buttered, but hold the salt.
The Red Sox Fan chimed in that he eats his ears of corn rotationally — that is, putting teeth into the kernels and then rolling the cod around as he chomps, rather than moving side to side. The rest of us were, of course, aghast. The only proper way to eat sweet corn is to move left to right, like the cob is the cylinder on a typewriter. That way, when you reach the right end of the ear, you’ve got a mouth full of mushy goodness and lips glistening with butter, ready to be licked. The Red Sox Fan’s curious admission frankly caused us to question whether he was a bona fide member of the Sweet Corn Club.
Up in Vermilion last Sunday we had a family cookout, and Cousin Jeff arrived with a passel of sweet corn purchased in Amish country that we boiled up in a big cast iron pot and ate with Lake Erie perch and grilled chicken. I happily consumed my share of the ears, and realized at some point in the process that I probably could eat sweet corn until I exploded. It wouldn’t be a bad way to go.