There's no denying that corn tastes its sweetest when it's in season. However, sometimes cravings strike well after the summer has passed and fresh cobs are nowhere to be found. In this case, canned corn acts as a willing replacement. The only problem is that more often than not it can taste fairly bland. There are all sorts of tips on how to make corn juicier or taste more flavorful whether that be by boiling it in milk or braising cobs in butter. However, the one tip that we can fully get behind is adding sugar to restore its saccharine profile.
It's simple, it's cheap, and it actually works. But, how? Even if corn is canned almost immediately after being harvested, the vegetable's natural sugars will swiftly start converting into flavorless starches, which can negatively impact the taste. To combat this, it's necessary to replace what was lost during that process. Reintroducing sugar, allows kernels to regain their honeyed quality and neutralize any bitterness that developed in the process.
Any Sugary Ingredient Will Do The Trick
To restore canned corn's sweetness, any type of sugar can be used. That said, depending on the variety, flavors may change ever so slightly. For example, white sugars tend to impart a strictly saccharine flavor, whereas brown sugars will give kernels a caramelized and toffee-like richness. Likewise, you can also experiment with other natural sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, date sugar, agave nectar, or even fruit juice.
While there isn't a precise guideline for how much sugar or sweetener to add to canned corn, we recommend starting out sparingly — a pinch or drizzle is more than enough. Adding a sprinkle of salt can also emphasize this sweetness, plus amp up the flavor. Then, simply combine the ingredients in a saucepan with some butter and warm slightly, as canned corn is already cooked. Should you be working canned corn into fritters or chowder, you can skip the reheat entirely, tossing kernels and sugar directly into the recipe.
With flavors so fresh, you might mistake canned corn for its just-picked equivalent. What can we say? Keeping corn tasting as it should has never been easier.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.