It's been five years since I've eaten an ear of corn....
Corn on the cob is generally not eaten in Italy, at least not in our area. Corn is strictly considered food for pigs unless it's coarsely ground into polenta, only then is it acceptable to eat. Even that is considered peasant food to some city folk, (I'm talking to you Pesarese.) And to eat it off the cob, off the grill - well that's just unheard of! So much so that we asked friends in Piobbico if we could have an ear of the corn we saw growing in the back yard. They said, "you don't have pigs, what are you going to do with it?" Jason & I looked at each other confused and said - "Eat it!"
Here's what's funny - they responded. "OK, we'll give it to you only if we can watch you eat it!"
Now in recent years, you may see corn nibblets in all the wrong places (not that there's any 'right' place for them), my favorite example is a frozen pizza; "The Big American Pizza" (yes, that's really the name) topped with everything from hotdogs to corn! I hope that's not what Italians really think Americans put on pizza.
Well, we have a garden, so why not grow it ourselves we thought! We were given some seeds and boy did they grow! The stalks were massive & we joked about cutting a corn maze for Halloween because we just had so much!! I thought hot -damn we're going to be corn-rich!! Drooling over all the possiblities...then came the first taste ... STARCHY as hell, it was the corn for pigs!! So there goes another year without a bite...and the taunting of the tall stalks as we pass neighbors with row upon row of inedible field corn.
After all this corn-drama, my lovely sister sent us a packet of organic sweet corn from the States. We just started picking it and let me tell you, it's the real deal!
After five years of not a single kernel of fresh shucked corn on the cob, I was almost in tears when I bit into that beautiful golden, homegrown ear and tasted the sweet juicy flavor, instantly took me back to summer bbq's growing up and that unforgettable taste of grilled corn on the cob!
It's a beautiful thing.