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Mirai Corn, Harvard, Illinois

Mirai Corn, Harvard, Illinois
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  • Post #31 - August 10th, 2007, 1:16 pm
    Post #31 - August 10th, 2007, 1:16 pm Post #31 - August 10th, 2007, 1:16 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:I followed the cooking instructions on the Mirai tag to boil no more than 2.5-3 minutes.

    More and more, I am coming to agree with Nero Wolfe on boiling sweet corn:

    Rex Stout in 'Murder is Corny,' 1962, wrote:Millions of American women, and some men, commit that outrage every summer day. They are turning a superb treat into mere provender. Shucked and boiled in water, sweet corn is edible and nutritious; roasted in the husk in the hottest possible oven for forty minutes, shucked at the table, and buttered and salted, nothing else, it is ambrosia. No chef's ingenuity and imagination have ever created a finer dish.

    Even better than a hot oven is a barbecue grill, which takes less time and adds a hint of smokiness. And it couldn't be easier: Just put the corn as it comes, without husking, silking or soaking, into the grill or oven. (The silk comes off the cooked corn with the husk much more easily than it does from raw corn.)

    The husks will blacken and the corn itself takes on a golden-brown caramelization.

    Wolfe goes on to say, "American women should themselves be boiled in water," which, of course, I don't agree with. :D
  • Post #32 - August 10th, 2007, 1:42 pm
    Post #32 - August 10th, 2007, 1:42 pm Post #32 - August 10th, 2007, 1:42 pm
    40 minutes in a hot oven or grill seems intense. Laz, you don't find it overdone at all?
  • Post #33 - August 12th, 2007, 3:08 am
    Post #33 - August 12th, 2007, 3:08 am Post #33 - August 12th, 2007, 3:08 am
    Darren72 wrote:40 minutes in a hot oven or grill seems intense. Laz, you don't find it overdone at all?


    No. On the grill, it's more like 30 minutes, depending on the size of the ears (and how close to the fire you position them -- you want indirect heat) and you'll probably want to turn it. The corn turns a light caramel color and you get some roasty, smoky flavor.

    In the oven, 40 minutes at 450-475 degrees (my oven's thermostat is a bit off), the husks blacken but the corn is perfect. If you do as I do, and just chuck the ears into the oven directly on the middle rack, there will be some caramelized bits where the metal touched the ears.

    Hey, corn was $2 per dozen at Meijer today. Try it.
  • Post #34 - August 12th, 2007, 8:56 am
    Post #34 - August 12th, 2007, 8:56 am Post #34 - August 12th, 2007, 8:56 am
    Cathy2 wrote:
    In a nutshell, Mirai corn is driven by a crafty marketing program. You are being convinced this is the better product by the packaging, labeling and best-use knowledge.


    The Metropolitan Club was selling Marai corn at the Boone County Fair again this year - and it was a relative bargain at $2/ear. Personally, I couldn't honestly say that it was any different than any of the bi-color corn that can be found in Boone Co. or Rock Co., WI.


    I was in Harvard last week by accident. I had planned to head to a pizza place in Hebron, IL but headed west of US14 instead of north on IL47. Some places that are worth stopping at include:

    Bravo Pizza is located on US14 and has probably the best pizza and eggplant parmesan in that area. It is worth a stop if you are in the area and its prices are very reasonable.

    Capitol Cream is a small ice cream shop that makes their own ice cream It is decorated in a 50s diner style.



    Bravo Pizza
    337 S Division St,
    Harvard, IL -
    (815) 943-1234

    Capitol Cream
    36 N Ayer St
    Harvard, IL 60033
    (815) 943-8155
  • Post #35 - September 19th, 2007, 7:00 pm
    Post #35 - September 19th, 2007, 7:00 pm Post #35 - September 19th, 2007, 7:00 pm
    Nero Wolfe Corn

    Image
    Image
    Oven-roasted

    Image
    Image
    Grill-roasted

    There are a few more weeks of corn season left, so I thought I'd post some photos of corn cooked in the Nero Wolfe process mentioned upthread. The corn came from H-Mart.

    The grill version was cooked indirectly with a relatively low fire. A hotter fire would have browned the kernels a bit. The brown spots in both versions are from the metal of the oven or grill rack.
  • Post #36 - July 31st, 2008, 5:22 pm
    Post #36 - July 31st, 2008, 5:22 pm Post #36 - July 31st, 2008, 5:22 pm
    Mirai corn is back to Twin Garden Farms in Richmond. A friend of mine went on Tuesday (7/29) and purchased a large amount for family and friends. I just got a half dozen from her for $3.50. Their website lists all the places their corn is for sale as well as a way to order on line.

    http://twingardenfarms.com/index.html
  • Post #37 - August 11th, 2008, 7:10 pm
    Post #37 - August 11th, 2008, 7:10 pm Post #37 - August 11th, 2008, 7:10 pm
    Harvard is quite a trek for corn. Luckily the Harvard grower Twin Garden Farms also sells Mirai corn at Elgin's farmers market. I got this email this week:

    Highlighted Harvest Market Vendor of the Week: Twin Garden Farms

    You may not have heard of Harvard IL based Twin Garden Farms, but you might have heard of their “Mirai”corn, which means “future is coming” and “taste”. Their corn is known for its sweet taste that you could eat it raw if you wanted to, and most do when they are trying it for the first time at the market for a sample. But then again it should taste good, with 15 years spent developing and patenting this special corn. How is it different from other corn? It has less starch and more sugar, which helps it cook faster (only 2-3 minutes). It is also guaranteed to last 7-10 days in your fridge with the husks still on. Also because it is so tender it requires being handpicked! Twin Garden Farms also sells natural honey and will be selling fall vegetables like squash later in the season.

    The Downtown Elgin Harvest Market is held every Thursday, now through September 25, featuring everything from fruits, vegetables, bunch flowers, delicious jams, healthy gourmet dog& cat treats, breads, pies, muffins and scones, to free range meats and eggs, cheese, olives, hummus, spices, pickles, olive oil, honey, and Mirai corn all displayed in an open-air market like venue. The market is held at the Civic Center parking lot at the corner of E. Highland and Douglas Avenue, near the Post office and City Hall, ELGIN IL and is open 10am - 6pm.
  • Post #38 - August 11th, 2008, 9:50 pm
    Post #38 - August 11th, 2008, 9:50 pm Post #38 - August 11th, 2008, 9:50 pm
    Hi,

    Last year, there were a number of farmers growing Mirai corn. It is a patented corn developed in Harvard by Twin Gardens.

    I have tried Mirai side by side with locally grown bi-color corn to find I liked the bi-color better and it was far cheaper. One of Mirai's characteristics is that it retains its sweetness when reheated, which is an interesting feature. If you usually cook just enough for your purposes, then does it really matter? While the bi-color corn is sold freshly picked, if you go out to the farms. The Mirai corn is harvested, then kept refrigerated. One source advised because it retains its sweetness longer, they sell their older stock first and not the fresh picked.

    It remains my opinion, when you buy Mirai corn you have been influenced by their expensive marketing to believe it is the best. I think it is a fine corn, though not worth the extra cost.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #39 - August 12th, 2008, 1:13 am
    Post #39 - August 12th, 2008, 1:13 am Post #39 - August 12th, 2008, 1:13 am
    Cathy2 wrote:
    It remains my opinion, when you buy Mirai corn you have been influenced by their expensive marketing to believe it is the best. I think it is a fine corn, though not worth the extra cost.

    Regards,


    I have had it a couple of years at the Boone County Fair. It is A good corn but no better than any of a dozen varieties of bicolor county found throughout McHenry, Rock, or Boone Counties this time of year.

    Of course, they distribute a lot of free corn to various members of the media who plug the corn constantly while it is in season.
  • Post #40 - August 15th, 2008, 4:04 pm
    Post #40 - August 15th, 2008, 4:04 pm Post #40 - August 15th, 2008, 4:04 pm
    While sweetness, harvest maturity, handling, cooking and opinions are subjective to each person and each person in America is entitled to them, the story of Mirai and it's development and acceptance worldwide is not. If anyone wants to know the real story instead of a few opinions from those that have no clue, please let us know.

    Respectfully
  • Post #41 - August 17th, 2008, 3:33 pm
    Post #41 - August 17th, 2008, 3:33 pm Post #41 - August 17th, 2008, 3:33 pm
    tgf wrote:While sweetness, harvest maturity, handling, cooking and opinions are subjective to each person and each person in America is entitled to them, the story of Mirai and it's development and acceptance worldwide is not. If anyone wants to know the real story instead of a few opinions from those that have no clue, please let us know.



    In the very short time that I have been around this community, I have drawn much value from the opinions of its clueless members.

    That said, if you would like to tell the "real story," please do. I, for one, would love to hear it.
    I don't know what you think about dinner, but there must be a relation between the breakfast and the happiness. --Cemal Süreyya
  • Post #42 - August 17th, 2008, 3:35 pm
    Post #42 - August 17th, 2008, 3:35 pm Post #42 - August 17th, 2008, 3:35 pm
    The "real story", as told by the owners/inventors. Sounds interesting, but perhaps a bit biased.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #43 - August 18th, 2008, 8:06 pm
    Post #43 - August 18th, 2008, 8:06 pm Post #43 - August 18th, 2008, 8:06 pm
    tgf wrote:While sweetness, harvest maturity, handling, cooking and opinions are subjective to each person and each person in America is entitled to them, the story of Mirai and it's development and acceptance worldwide is not. If anyone wants to know the real story instead of a few opinions from those that have no clue, please let us know.

    Respectfully


    Welcome to LTH. I would indeed like to know your real story, but only if it is in addition to, not instead of, the opinions of people on the forum. Please share.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #44 - August 19th, 2008, 10:12 am
    Post #44 - August 19th, 2008, 10:12 am Post #44 - August 19th, 2008, 10:12 am
    I don't want to write a book so this will be the brief version.

    The hybrid was developed in collaboration between Twin Garden Farms (originally from Des Plaines and now in Harvard) and a sweet corn breeder-by accident! TGF was constantly looking for new hybrids from seed suppliers to add to its grocery store fresh market sweet corn business. The breeder would always try and breed new hybrids along with testing other seed company candidates. The breeder to this day calls it his "WOW" moment when he bit into his first cob of test hybrid 390. This hybrid is the first time that the 3 basic sweet corn genes have been successfully combines in one ear of corn. They are SE (suger extender) for tenderness, SH2 (shrunken) for sweetness and SU (sugary) for old fashioned sweet corn flavor.

    The seed has less germ and less vigor due to the lack of starch so is more difficult to grow. The seed breeder had a relationship with a Japanese vegetable company and we determined that with their passion for quality food it would offer them a great opportunity. The Japanese company named it Mirai (taste of the future) and began marketing as a fruit. Mirai did not fit in the same category as sweet corn so the Japanese government actually created a new class of vegetable-Mirai. That was 14 years ago and our Japanese distributor is actually at the farm this week taste testing 500 new varieties of Mirai looking for the next best version of Mirai. I don't believe that the Japanese consumer would be purchasing 30% of their sweet corn, being Mirai, for 14 years if it was just "fancy advertising and money".

    Now to the US. When, after 7 years, we were finally able to out produce the Mirai seed needs of Japan we began to offer the seed through US distributors focusing on "master" growers interested in quality. Any grower in the world can purchase Mirai seed. We did not change the name in the US as it would have been like changing the name of one of our children. Our roadside market in the beginning offered conventional supersweet corn for one price and Mirai for 67% more. After two weeks we took the conventional sweet corn off the shelf as we DID NOT sell any and had to throw it away. 1 or 2 customers in 7 years have asked for conventional sweet corn. As mentioned in my previous post if Mirai is grown right, harvested at the correct maturity (www.miraicorn.com) and handled correctly post-harvest it IS guaranteed to be the best sweet corn you've ever eaten.

    The "fancy packaging" was developed to identify Mirai as something conventional sweet corn is not. By appearance only this cannot be done. And as everything else in America there are many copy cats working hard to ride the wave.

    As to the media you'll have to ask them about our relationship and how it began.

    DON"T cook Mirai too long and have fun.

    Anyone is invited to Harvard on any weekend and stand in our dusty tent and talk to any customers they wish.
  • Post #45 - August 29th, 2008, 11:18 am
    Post #45 - August 29th, 2008, 11:18 am Post #45 - August 29th, 2008, 11:18 am
    Mirai Corn is sold at Roselle Main Street Market..Saturdays through Oct 11th..they sell out pretty quick too
    First Place BBQ Sauce - 2010 NBBQA ( Natl BBQ Assoc) Awards of Excellence
  • Post #46 - August 29th, 2008, 2:08 pm
    Post #46 - August 29th, 2008, 2:08 pm Post #46 - August 29th, 2008, 2:08 pm
    I just found out that you can buy Mirai Corn at the Friday morning farmers' market in downtown Glen Ellyn as well. My mom bought two bags of it today. I was shocked by how sweet it was, and that was when it was raw.

    All the best,
    Jen
  • Post #47 - August 29th, 2008, 2:11 pm
    Post #47 - August 29th, 2008, 2:11 pm Post #47 - August 29th, 2008, 2:11 pm
    They were selling it at the Lake Bluff farmers market today. The lady said that it is guaranteed to keep for 10 days in the refrigerator and not lose its sweetness. I am not making it until monday so I hope she is right. She said not to boil it more than 3 minutes. I never boil corn more than 2 minutes anyway. recently I have been grilling it in the husk as mentioned above. I cook it over direct heat (covered)for about 10 minutes, turning once, and then I put to indirect while I grill the meat. Usually about 20 minutes total, and it is great. Much easier to husk and hair when cooked.

    -Will
  • Post #48 - September 8th, 2008, 11:04 am
    Post #48 - September 8th, 2008, 11:04 am Post #48 - September 8th, 2008, 11:04 am
    My take on the Mirai corn...

    I grew up on good sweetcorn, lucky enough to be across the street from a dairy farm (OK, not luck at manure-spreading time). The owner would pick fresh sweetcorn in the morning, put it on a flatbed trailer and tow it to the corner. There was a locked tacklebox with slot for 'honor system' cash, chained to the trailer of course.

    I got to know some farmstands in the area when I moved to Chicago, and usually had good luck. But some of them have moved or disappeared (I liked the place on Golf road east of Mt. Prospect or whose quality have been spotty ("The Farm" in Fox Valley, though I haven't been there this year).

    Even my local (Park Ridge) farmers' market has been hit/miss. I had some excellent, small ears/kernels white sweetcorn early in the season, but also had some that wasn't worth the energy shucking.

    Late summer is too short for mediocre sweetcorn, so when I heard about the Mirai, I thought it would be worth a shot.

    Apart from it being a little too sweet for my taste (slightly overpowers the corn flavor) it consistantly
    (4 different purchase dates) excellent taste as well as texture. It also seems to keep (at least for 5 days, the longest I've had some sitting around) these characteristics over time.

    Their website has a few places and farmers' markets to get it. I tried the Western Springs market last thurdsay on the inbound BNSF Metra (1/2 hour to shop between the regular train that dropped me off and the next express, which *almost* catches up to the first one) but alas, the whole show was cancelled to the rain. The Elk Grove Village market seems to have the same quality stuff you can get out in McHenry.

    I'll still poll the local Park Ridge market (gotta get there eary next Saturday...they were out real apple cider by the time I got there), but unless I find something that is consistantly better, I'll always have some on-hand in the fridge. The stuff freezes well, too.

    --Ken
  • Post #49 - September 9th, 2008, 7:50 am
    Post #49 - September 9th, 2008, 7:50 am Post #49 - September 9th, 2008, 7:50 am
    Mirai corn is now available at the Prudential Plaza Farmer's market on Tuesday's (alnong the with the city's best pastries)
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #50 - September 10th, 2008, 8:39 pm
    Post #50 - September 10th, 2008, 8:39 pm Post #50 - September 10th, 2008, 8:39 pm
    tried Mirai corn for the first time tonight, and my reaction was, ...."Weird." It's super sweet, but lacks a certain essence of corn that I love. Completely unbalanced, single-note-sweet. It's not my thing, but I could certainly see why it has some mass appeal.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #51 - July 27th, 2009, 2:10 pm
    Post #51 - July 27th, 2009, 2:10 pm Post #51 - July 27th, 2009, 2:10 pm
    Mirai corn now available at the Lincoln Park Saturday Farmer's Market. $4 for a half dozen ears.
    Image

    Ate an ear raw on Saturday. It was very sweet, but as it was both my first experience with Mirai and my first experience with a raw ear of corn, I'm not really sure how it compares to common sweet corn. Gentleman selling said that this was the first Mirai picked this season, and suggested waiting a week or two for the "really good stuff."

    --Rich

    Lincoln Park Saturday Farmer's Market
    Lincoln Park High School Parking Lot
    Armitage Ave. & Orchard St.
    Chicago, IL 60614
    I don't know what you think about dinner, but there must be a relation between the breakfast and the happiness. --Cemal Süreyya
  • Post #52 - August 17th, 2009, 10:25 pm
    Post #52 - August 17th, 2009, 10:25 pm Post #52 - August 17th, 2009, 10:25 pm
    Kennyz wrote:tried Mirai corn for the first time tonight, and my reaction was, ...."Weird." It's super sweet, but lacks a certain essence of corn that I love. Completely unbalanced, single-note-sweet. It's not my thing, but I could certainly see why it has some mass appeal.

    I like Mirai, sweet, yes, but full corn flavor and very juicy, the kernels sprayed corn essence when you bit into them. I like butter, coarse salt and black pepper on boiled corn, lime and salt on grilled, the Mirai I ate plain as did my bride.

    Large ears of Mirai boiled for 4-minutes

    Image

    Jazzfood was so keen on Mirai after his first encounter he picked up a bunch of ears and gave them as gifts. I think he bought them at one of the downtown farmers markets, I have not seen Mirai at Green City, Evanston or Skokie.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #53 - August 18th, 2009, 6:36 am
    Post #53 - August 18th, 2009, 6:36 am Post #53 - August 18th, 2009, 6:36 am
    G Wiv wrote:Jazzfood was so keen on Mirai after his first encounter he picked up a bunch of ears and gave them as gifts. I think he bought them at one of the downtown farmers markets, I have not seen Mirai at Green City, Evanston or Skokie.


    Nichols Farm, which I believe sells at all or most of those markets, has been selling corn grown from Mirai seeds this year. I believe they are also selling other varieties, so I am not sure what you get on any given market day. Mirai has become popular enough that I think you sometimes get it even when you don't know you're getting it.

    I tried Mirai again a couple of weeks ago. I've also bought a couple of dozen ears of sweet corn from Three Sisters Farm, picked about 12 hours before my purchase, and a few ears of non-Mirai corn from a farmstand in Wilmington, IL - picked about one hour before my purchase. To me, Mirai is to these other fantastic corns what Miracle Whip is to fresh mayonnaise. Sweeter, and a much longer shelf life. That's about it.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #54 - August 18th, 2009, 7:28 am
    Post #54 - August 18th, 2009, 7:28 am Post #54 - August 18th, 2009, 7:28 am
    G Wiv wrote:I think he bought them at one of the downtown farmers markets, I have not seen Mirai at Green City, Evanston or Skokie.


    Kennyz wrote:Nichols Farm, which I believe sells at all or most of those markets, has been selling corn grown from Mirai seeds this year.


    Kenny is correct - Nichols sells Mirai and, as of last week, was selling it at the ever-improving and becoming my favorite, Daley Center Market.
  • Post #55 - August 18th, 2009, 8:04 am
    Post #55 - August 18th, 2009, 8:04 am Post #55 - August 18th, 2009, 8:04 am
    Here's the link to the Twin Garden Farms list of Chicago-area Farmers Markets where they sell the Mirai corn. The lady at the Northbrook stand said last week that her husband had been mobbed at Wilmette and sold out before he could get the stand built.

    http://www.twingardenfarms.com/farmers.html
  • Post #56 - August 18th, 2009, 8:22 am
    Post #56 - August 18th, 2009, 8:22 am Post #56 - August 18th, 2009, 8:22 am
    finally go to try this corn afte rpicking some up at the Roselle Main Street Market. I didnt find the corn overly sweet as some make it out to be though. Maybe a touch sweeter than other sweet corn Ive had but not by much.
    All in all it was excellent cornr with very large and moist kernels (moist enough and tasty enough that it didnt need any butter)
    First Place BBQ Sauce - 2010 NBBQA ( Natl BBQ Assoc) Awards of Excellence
  • Post #57 - August 18th, 2009, 8:53 am
    Post #57 - August 18th, 2009, 8:53 am Post #57 - August 18th, 2009, 8:53 am
    jimwdavis wrote:Here's the link to the Twin Garden Farms list of Chicago-area Farmers Markets where they sell the Mirai corn. The lady at the Northbrook stand said last week that her husband had been mobbed at Wilmette and sold out before he could get the stand built.

    http://www.twingardenfarms.com/farmers.html



    helpful list (for those who care for Mirai corn), but I think it is only a list of the places where Twin Garden Farms sells Mirai Corn that they grow. These days, any grower can buy Mirai seeds and produce and sell the corn themselves, so there are likely places to buy it that are not on this list.

    NB: do not try to use Mirai corn to make tamales, humitas, or any other dishes where the corn's starch component is important. Mirai does not have enough starch, so you just end up with a sweet, wet, gloppy mess.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #58 - August 18th, 2009, 9:32 am
    Post #58 - August 18th, 2009, 9:32 am Post #58 - August 18th, 2009, 9:32 am
    I bought some Miri corn at Twin Gardens Far on Sunday. Ears cooked (boiled) for ~7 minutes were perfect. Ears cooked for 15 minutes were overly mushy. This corn does not have to be cooked very long at all...especially if it is farm fresh.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #59 - August 19th, 2009, 4:06 pm
    Post #59 - August 19th, 2009, 4:06 pm Post #59 - August 19th, 2009, 4:06 pm
    bought some mirai corn at the prudential farmers market yesterday, Damn! these corn are swweeetttt!!!
    hopefully, they will be there again next week, they sure are tasty :)
  • Post #60 - August 20th, 2009, 7:26 pm
    Post #60 - August 20th, 2009, 7:26 pm Post #60 - August 20th, 2009, 7:26 pm
    Picked up 1/2 dozen yellow and 1/2 dozen bicolor from Daley Plaza today. Loved my raw sample. The person next to me sprayed my face when she bit into her corn! As a slight germophobe, I was a little disgusted. Anyway.....boiled one of each for 3 minutes tonight. Very sweet, juicy, crisp and fresh, but I don't know that it really tasted that "corny."

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