Comments: Eating Local in August


Dear Meg:

I hate you!

Just kidding, but I am so-o-o-o jealous that you had such sweet, yummy corn, and are torturing me (and the rest of us Americans in Paris) with that photo and description.

I've bought corn in Chinatown here, which is ok, but Romain bought two ears of cryvac'd corn-on-the-cob, which were cooked to a mush so vile that even a starving pig (or supermodel) wouldn't eat them! I tried though...

In Connecticut, where I grew up, we called yellow & white corn "Butter and Sugar" corn. I don't know if that's the official title, but that's certainly what I remember it tasting like.

I can't claim to have the same emotional relationship to sweetcorn as you do (I'm from London, where you don't exactly have sweetcorn stands on every corner), but I was absolutely thrilled last week to discover squeaky fresh corn still in the husk, not a whisper of plastic wrapping and I assume locally grown, in a terrific produce store not too far from Paris called the Jardins du Mesnil, in Le Mesnil le Roi, in the Yvelines. It's a little far to go just to buy corn I realise, but just so you know, some farmer somewhere is saving the corn for human beings, rather than tossing it straight to the animals. We barbecued them in the husk, and it was a treat.

PS I'll grow corn for you if you bring me back some seeds!

Natasha, it's a deal! And thanks for the tip - I may just have to trek out your way this weekend!

I, too, was surprised to find corn in the store last week out here in the Western Burbs. I was sceptical so I peeled back the leaves on each ear to check before buying. The corn did take longer to cook, just like you said. This ain't no sweet Alabama corn like we get there in early summer! But, 'twas corn nevertheless and it was pretty good.

The funny part was the check-out girl just stared at the cobs in the bag and said, "What IS this?" The she had to hunt for a good 3 minutes to find the veggie code to ring them up. When I got home I discovered that she has charged me 2.95 Euros per cob instead of just 70 cents each. That makes for some expensive, mediocre corn but still a pleaure in Paris.

By the way, you can go out to one of the U Pick It farms around Paris (Ferme de Gally in the west) and pick your own corn in late fall.


Geni, I've heard of the Ferme de Gally and have been meaning to check it out. Now that I know they have corn I might just have to finally get round to it!

'Peaches and Cream' (single quote marks) is a specific named variety of bi-color sweet corn.

I love corn too so I understand your grief. I am a packet seed sales rep in Califorinia; I always have lots of outdated seed this time of year and I'd be glad to send you some seed to plant or give to another urban farmer. Just bear in mind that corn needs to be planted in plots of at least 4 feet by 4 feet so as to get good pollination. Usually wind carries pollen from one stalk to another, so plant in blocks, not long single rows.

Let me know if you'd like some seed, and what type: yellow, white or bicolor. I don't want to advertise, so I won't list our brand, but it is very high-germination rate seed. (It is possible you had gotten hold of some poor seed).

good luck--corn (planting)season is just 6 months away!

ps THANKS for putting that ADVERTISING POLICY in red! I almost didn't see it....

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