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It's Now Cool to Be Corny

 

Back in the 1980s, everyone was querying, “Where’s the beef?” The humorous appeal of the commercial quote faded, but “Where’s the corn?” is the very serious and timeless question that Long Island residents have been posing at area farm stands throughout decades. Here at the Pumpkin Patch, customers came clamoring for it throughout the month of June, only to be issued the mildly disappointing response of “Not yet.” We kept our promises of its anticipated appearance in time for Fourth of July barbecues, however, and sure enough, it has arrived! Corn season is now in full swing, and those ears of golden kernels are perhaps as coveted as gold itself. Whether you're on a quest for four ears, six ears, a dozen or a bagful, corn tops the list when it comes to our best-selling item. What makes this humble specimen such a popular guest to everyone’s summer dinner table?

 

One possible explanation may lie in corn's longstanding history and its call to savor the food of our population's ancestors. Corn, the vegetable formerly known as maize, is one of the oldest agricultural goods of our continent. It was cultivated in Central Mexico thousands of years ago, evolving from its native wild grass roots and subsequently making its way into the United States, where it has been savored by generation after generation. Today, corn evokes the classic Americana imagery of summer dining, ranking right up there with watermelon and ice cream.

 

Another reason corn seekers arrive in droves throughout the summer and fall seasons may be its simplicity and versatility when it comes to preparation and serving. Corn can be boiled, roasted and grilled, and it cooks quickly for those harried weeknight meals. As you observe your family pooch contentedly gnawing on his treat bone, you may opt to emulate your furry friend's primal feeding habit by nibbling the kernels right off of the cob. Enjoy it with a simple sprinkle of sea salt and a generous slather of butter, or get creative by pumping of the flavor of the butter with tasty additions, such as spices, herbs, sweet honey or citrusy zest. Alternately, if you slice the cooked kernels off of the cob, they can then be heaped into a summer salad bowl or a fall chowder pot.

 

Whatever the reason for your summertime corn cravings, revel in the knowledge that you can embrace your indulgence of the desirable local edible well into the autumn months. The warming sun's golden rays have smiled upon this season's crop, bestowing a kiss of subtle sweetness into every kernel and ensuring a tasty crowd-pleaser for your next barbecue.

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