Did you know that popcorn actually grows on ears just like the corn you are used to eating throughout the summer months? Of course, you did. Everyone knows that. Still, I couldn’t help but be a little bit surprised when I found out that the tiny ears of dried corn that came in my final CSA box last month were not merely a seasonal household decoration but were, in fact, edible popcorn! Specifically, these ears were strawberry popcorn, an heirloom variety of popcorn that grows to only about 4 feet tall and produces short, round, ruby-red ears of corn resembling strawberries (hence the name!)

CSA members were instructed to let the little ears dry out for at least a month before separating the kernels from the cob and popping them. Last weekend, I popped my first batch! Removing the kernels from the cob was a bit tricky; the kernels came off without much resistance, but their pointy ends proved to be a bit painful. Next time, I’ll have to employ some sort of tool other than my thumb for this purpose.

Once I had a small pile of kernels, I simply popped them in a nonstick pot over medium heat with a touch of oil and salt. Despite their deep red coloring, the kernels popped up to a nice, bright white. Although they were much smaller in size than conventional popcorn, they were no less tasty. And, the best part? Even the kernels that didn’t pop were soft enough to eat easily. No worries about accidentally breaking one’s tooth with this popcorn!

Although it was just a tiny amount, barely enough to even qualify as a snack, I was so happy to be eating this last little remnant from Boistfort Valley Farm‘s CSA season. Sadly, the farm suffered heavy damage as a result of the flooding that swept through Washington State earlier this month. They had to cancel their final produce delivery due to a complete loss of winter storage vegetables. They do expect to be up and running again for next year’s CSA season, however, and I can’t wait. In the meantime, I will savor my two remaining ears of strawberry corn!

1 Comment »

  1. Growing up in Santa Fe, we had blue corn popcorn (very similar to your red)– also very good– that we sold in the gourmet spice shop I worked at. The question everybody invariably asked was…

    “Is it blue when it pops?”

    Comment by Ole Jasers — January 13, 2008 @ 4:39 pm

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