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Dried Sweet Corn, an homage to John Cope

August 13, 2015

 

I grew up with Cope's Corn. I think everyone from central PA can remember a Thanksgiving casserole of Cope's corn landing on the table.  Simply put, it's 'one of those things'.  We all have 'those things', don't we? Foodstuffs that recall a sense of place or time for us.

Much like scrapple or shoo fly pie or slippery noodle pot pie, Cope's corn is a symbol of PA Dutch cooking.

 

I can't think of a better way to bring sweet corn into the winter months that drying it and jarring it. The amazing thing for me is the transformation the corn undergoes when it goes from height of the season sweet corn to dried sweet corn. You know that it's still corn, but it takes on a savory, caramel flavor that is simply luscious. I had the privilege of cooking for a friend's 50th birthday a couple of years ago and one of the courses was a duck breast sitting on a bed of slow cooked Cope's corn.   I think the duck was pretty good, but people kept on talking about the corn. It's odd when a plate garnish upstages the main component of the plate, but the Cope's corn nailed it.

 

Simply put, Cope's corn is sweet corn that has been lightly cooked in some salt, sugar and a little dairy and set in the oven or dehydrator to dry. That's it. Simple, but amazing. We make a lot of dried sweet corn at Josephine as the summer is winding down and we are preparing for Fall and Winter. I can't imagine a holiday table without a dried sweet corn casserole and lately, I can't imagine Josephine without some dried sweet corn around!

 

 

Last Fall at Josephine, we used dried sweet corn as a component of our scrapple dish. Who knows where it will show up this year....I know it makes a great, smooth soup cooked gently with onions and aromatics then pureed.

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