Baby Corn and Kids’ Lunches

If I were a farmer who had suffered through the last two devastating summer/fall storm seasons in the Northeast, I would be looking at my fields every morning and wondering wildly how I could get anything marketable to market as soon as possible before the next Irene or Sandy. Jeff Bialas was too busy handing out samples of his baby corn today for me to ask if that was his motivation, so I’ll just go ahead and grant him credit for marketing genius. Full-grown ears were going for 50 to 75 cents a few stalls away at our neighborhood Greenmarket, and he was seducing his customers into bagging five infants for $2. As he promised, baby corn is a whole new vegetable, and nothing like the canned or pickled kind you can always find in stores and Asian restaurants. The skinny okra-size ears are slightly sweet, quite crunchy, and you can even eat the silk. Jeff suggested slicing them into salad or (I think) scrambling them with eggs, but they also make an addictive snack. Too bad corn turns mean so quickly or these could replace those faux baby carrots on crudité platters and in kids’ lunches. Also, too: Don’t get me started on what else people consider fit for kids to eat at lunchtime. I’m feeling lucky my mom sent me off to school with peanut butter-and-brown sugar sandwiches in wax paper . . .

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