What’s in Season on the North Fork: July is for sweet corn

Friends enjoying corn at the annual Sweet Corn Festival at Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck. (Credit: Madison Fender)

Ever-popular sweet corn hits North Fork farm stands just in time for Fourth of July — and no North Fork barbecue is complete without it. 

Many local farms offer the just-picked cobs simply roasted at the stands while some local chefs take liberties with its fresh and versatile flavor profile.

Chef Taylor Knapp, owner of Peconic Escargot and PawPaw Pop-Up, opts to use North Fork corn in creative dishes, both savory and sweet. Sweet corn ice cream with blueberries and cornbread with the kernels baked in are among the inspired dishes guests might find on the menu at Knapp’s popular dinners.

“Corn is the harbinger of summer,” he said. “We think of fun ways to use it that would typically go to waste, such as cobs for stock. It goes well with shellfish.”

Knapp also dries the discarded husks, roasting them slowly in the oven and putting fire to them to create cornhusk ash. Knapp — and northforker — do not recommend trying that at home.

Sweet corn can be found locally at Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck, May’s Farm Stand in Wading River and Wesnofske Farms in Southold, among many other places.

Melons, peaches, peppers, raspberries and blueberries are also in season this month.

Fun Facts

• Corn is a cereal crop that is part of the grass family.

• Corn will always have an even number of rows on each cob.

• On average, an ear of corn has 800 kernels in 16 rows.

• Corn can be produced in various colors, including blackish, bluish gray, purple, green, red, white and the most common, yellow.

• Corn is used in many non-food items such as fireworks, glue, paint, dyes and laundry detergent.

• The world record for the tallest stalk is just over 33 feet.

• One acre of corn eliminates eight tons of carbon dioxide from the air.

• Antarctica is the only place in the world where corn isn’t grown.

Health Benefits

• High fiber content can aid digestion

• Rich in essential minerals, such as zinc, magnesium, copper, iron and manganese

• High in vitamin B

• A good source of the antioxidants carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, which promote eye health

Nutrition Information

Amount per 1 cup

Calories: 125

Protein: 5 grams

Carbs: 27 grams

Sugar: 9 grams

Fiber: 3 grams

Fat: 2 grams

Iron: 4% of RDI

Potassium: 8% of RDI

Source: United States Department of Agriculture

What’s in Season is made possible by Farm Credit East.