EVERYBODY EATS: Sweet on taste of raw corn

When it comes to sweet corn, Chad Kehrli is a purist.

“I eat it straight raw or just boil it a bit,” he says.

Raw? Really?

“My youngest son prefers it that way,” Kehrli says. “It’s like eating raw carrots.”

If anyone if going to convince me eating sweet corn raw tastes good, it will be Kehrli. After all, this is his business.

Kehrli and his wife, Karen, are the owners of Kehrli Sweet Corn in Manchester. Raised on farms, the couple chose to focus on one specific product — sweet corn — in order to control all aspects of it, from planting and harvest to marketing and sales.

“It’s something we started 15 years ago and it keeps growing every year,” Kehrli says.

Nearly two weeks into their sweet corn season, business is going well. Corn is picked early in the morning and sold that day at sweet corn stands in Manchester, Strawberry Point, Edgewood, Winthrop, Coggon and Independence.

If the weather cooperates, Kehrli Sweet Corn will be available through mid-September. It’s a seasonal product, but perhaps that’s why so many people love it.

“It’s something you look forward to,” Kehrli says. “Unless you can it or freeze it, you’re only going to have it for a short time.”

In other words, let’s enjoy it while we can.

Iowa Corn Au Gratin

Serves 6

  • 6 ears of Kehrli Sweet Corn
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish.

If fresh corn is used, remove husk and silk, and cut kernels from cob.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt butter or margarine. Add onion and bell pepper and saute until tender; stir in flour and then add milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened and is smooth.

Remove from heat; add corn, cheddar cheese, eggs, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour into prepared casserole dish and top with breadcrumbs. Set into a shallow pan of hot water and bake 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.Source: Kehrli Sweet Corn in Manchester,

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