|Steamed in the hull corn on the cob - warm and tasty|
I've always loved corn, in almost any way you could think of to cook it. I even ate creamed corn with gusto when I was a child - something that horrified most of my friends at the time. Although we got whole corn on the cob from the grocery stores here in California cities, there was nothing that could compare to the field-fresh ears of it we'd have while visiting relatives back East.
Truly fresh corn was a treat worth suffering through the near-stultifying heat and humidity of a mid-Western July. Picked before dawn and just out of the fields a few hours the green hulls were so fresh they clung firmly to the golden niblets inside as we shucked ear after ear of it on the back porch of my grandparent's home in Minnesota, picking the clingy strands of corn silk off while anticipating the bountiful platters of steaming ears that would arrive at the mid-day dinner table an hour or so later. Even without butter these sugar-sweet golden cylinders from heaven were a treat I still occasionally think I can conjure up the aroma of if I really work at it.
Every so often while walking along a sidewalk or road in Thailand I get a teasing hint of that aroma, and it never fails to catch my attention. When I look around I usually find a vendor with one of a few types of corn for sale. It's rarely anywhere near as fresh as I remember from my childhood, but if you get out into the farmlands of the Kingdom, it's there!
Normally what you'll see are the wash-tubs of ears in their hulls, such as the guy up top had to sell. Those are good, but not really practical or very neat to eat on the street. If you're staying in an apartment with a kitchen, try them, though - odds are you'll like them. A couple of times I've taken then directly back to my room, added some butter brought up from the buffet and launched into one (OK, or two) ears of it, and it was pretty darned good. I suppose it's fair to say most anything farther away from mass-produced is better tasting.
Simpler and almost as satisfying are the carts that sell corn along the street that's already been removed from the cob. You point to the size of cup you want to take away (often a disposable drinking cup), tell the seller what you want added to it - butter, sugar, salt, etc.) and they toss it into a hot wok to heat it before spooning it into a cup, sticking a spoon into it and handing it to you, steaming hot. It's very inexpensive, and a relatively healthy walk-away snack.
|Kernels of corn on a steam table, waiting for a final heating and serving|
|Griddled corn patties, as fresh as they get|