I always thought the notion that just-picked corn is vastly superior was a rural myth. I put in time in Iowa, but the corn there went to the commodities market, destined for oil and other processed products, not buttering and gnawing. And these days, the corn we buy at the Greenmarkets is picked the day before and tastes plenty great to me. So I wondered when our host for a crab-feast weekend in New Hope, Pa., insisted on driving way out to a distant farmstand for perfect corn, and this after he had already made an early run in bad traffic only to find all the morning’s corn sold out. I tagged along, and we were picking out a couple of dozen ears when a guy came in with a huge, damp bag and spilled it onto the table. At the host’s instigation, I dumped out the ones I’d chosen and replaced them with fresh. And of course this corn was astonishing, sweet and super-tender and anything but overshadowed by the fabulous crabs. So I’ll cede to science: The longer corn is away from the stalk, the more it morphs. (I was also skeptical of how the corn was to be cooked: with husks and silk still on, in the microwave. But that’s a form of steaming, the cooking method I always preferred until I discovered braising is even better because you can add salt and seasonings to the water to infuse flavor.) I joked that it all could have been power of suggestion: That bag of corn could have come off a truck from far off in Jersey and been unloaded just for show. But I know the farm was the real deal because it had posted a sign over the table reading something like: “Please wait to shuck this corn in the privacy of your own kitchen.” As crucial as the picking time is, the husk removal really makes a difference between sweet and starchy.