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Another culinary question.
We do not seem to be able find any corn on the cob in France, strange as the fields are full of it - or were earlier on. Do the French not eat it?
There is some corn grown in France for sale "on the cob" - but this year was horrible for corn as it is. Corn needs hot weather, and lots of sun and water. And much of the corn crop in France is grown for animal feed anyhow - like where the animals consume the corn and the cob in total. It's not a variety that is suited for corn on the cob, or actually not great for human consumption in general. (It's not "tender" like what you want for corn on the cob.)
 

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Here are a couple of French varieties that are sharp and should make good pies, but will need some trial and error.
Reinette O'bry, de Bouteville. There are literally 100's of varieties. If you are anywhere near the Calvados region there are many small apple orchards/growers, often off the beaten track. It would be worth a visit even though the season is almost over.
An English variety Newtons Wonder is worth a try. My father always regarded it as an excelent apple that stays firm. Some culitvars of Bramley can puree when cooked.
Best of luck

Andrew
 

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Part of the reason for not seeing corn still on the cob is because the harvesting process for most of the corn involves a mechanical harvester that strips the corn off the cob as it drives around the field. The corn then goes loose in a trailer drawn by a tractor either to the processing factory or to an open air concreted drying area. Thus the harvesting process only requires 2 people to be involved and 5 hectares can be cleared in a couple of hours or so. It is a very cost effective crop involving minimal investment and labour.
 

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Part of the reason for not seeing corn still on the cob is because the harvesting process for most of the corn involves a mechanical harvester that strips the corn off the cob as it drives around the field. The corn then goes loose in a trailer drawn by a tractor either to the processing factory or to an open air concreted drying area. Thus the harvesting process only requires 2 people to be involved and 5 hectares can be cleared in a couple of hours or so. It is a very cost effective crop involving minimal investment and labour.
And I think it is done earlier in the harvesting season. I believe there is also some hand harvesting, though probably not where the crop is intensively farmedcorn is produced in France for many reasons, including biomasse BTW. I would say the majority is not grown for human consumption. I definitely don't intend to go into the ecological issues here except to say they are many and varied and include such things as pesticide spraying, irrigation and bees,,
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
For your apples, have you tried local apple producers?
There are loads in the Limousin - big and small - not too far from you, I think.
Not specifically, this only came up this week as we were planning Thanksgiving and fancied apple pie.
We have found some Canada gris so we'll be trying those.
 
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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
And I think it is done earlier in the harvesting season. I believe there is also some hand harvesting, though probably not where the crop is intensively farmedcorn is produced in France for many reasons, including biomasse BTW. I would say the majority is not grown for human consumption. I definitely don't intend to go into the ecological issues here except to say they are many and varied and include such things as pesticide spraying, irrigation and bees,,
Seems to be the case of not enough public demand - shame as I like to stick a couple of husks (leaves and all) on the BBQ in the summer, easy t shuck when hot and served up with melted butter & black pepper.

Ah well
 

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Seems to be the case of not enough public demand - shame as I like to stick a couple of husks (leaves and all) on the BBQ in the summer, easy t shuck when hot and served up with melted butter & black pepper.

Ah well
Hey, it's slowly getting somewhat more popular here. Used to be the only corn on the cob you found in the grocery stores was shipped in from Eastern Europe - which meant that it was days or weeks old. Back in the States, rule of thumb was it was "best" to pick your corn only after you'd already put the water on to boil (or had the coals going in the barbecue) - though that always was an "ideal."

I got my husband hooked on corn on the cob when we first started growing it in our garden. But it's tricky to grow here, due to the high water requirements and the need for a spell of hot weather and sunshine. We've had years (like this recent one) where we get no "eating corn" at all - though we occasionally get a year that is pretty good for pop corn. This year we got quite a few ears of pop corn, though the ears were pretty small and not uniformly productive. But, enough to keep us in pop corn for a time anyhow.

I guess the animal feed corn is somewhat less sensitive to dry conditions, as there is quite a bit grown here in Ile de France. It is most definitely NOT great for human consumption - too tough. But the animals seem to really go for it (including our donkeys).
 

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Another culinary question.
We do not seem to be able find any corn on the cob in France, strange as the fields are full of it - or were earlier on. Do the French not eat it?
The corn you see growing in fields is for feeding to livestock (e.g. pigs). Another use is for cornstarch which is the base of many powdered cosmetics. And it's not the sweet corn variety that we have here in the US. So if you try to grab some and cook it, you'll be disappointed 😬
 

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The corn you see growing in fields is for feeding to livestock (e.g. pigs). Another use is for cornstarch which is the base of many powdered cosmetics. And it's not the sweet corn variety that we have here in the US. So if you try to grab some and cook it, you'll be disappointed 😬
There are many varieties of Corn(Maize). The ones for corn on the cob has a sweeter taste and is predomanantly harvested by hand picking in July to September,
The corn types harvested by machines, from October onwards is types grown to produce great bulk (dry matter)which is ensiled to feed cows.
There is also the grain varieties of maize which is harvested dry for grain used to produce, corn flakes, corn flour and meal for livestock.
The varieties for grain production and ensiling are completely different and very unpalatible as corn on the cob.
Corn on the cob is often known as sweet corn, which as the name suggests is relatively sweet when cooked.

The only place to find corn on the cob now is the local town markets where small farmers sell fruit and vegetables. A word of warning before you buy, pinch a grain of the cob and taste. It should have a creamy texture and a sweet taste. If bitter it is not the type to eat.
 

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Another culinary question.
We do not seem to be able find any corn on the cob in France, strange as the fields are full of it - or were earlier on. Do the French not eat it?
Corn was bad this year. I usually buy mine in Chinatown, the only place I can get it in Paris. It's around end August through September. This year white corn was only available for one week, normally I can get it for about 3 weeks, and this year it was really good The yellow not so.
 

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In contrast to sweetcorn availability, I was curious to see edible lupin beans being sold in France. More often grown as animal fodder and said to be something of a "superfood".
 

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In contrast to sweetcorn availability, I was curious to see edible lupin beans being sold in France. More often grown as animal fodder and said to be something of a "superfood".
Yes they are great and an excellent food source for vegetarians and pretty much everyone else. You will find lots of info and recipes online (in French).
 

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No fresh corn on the cob in the stores here either. This area produces a huge amount of corn, but by now what did not sell quickly would have gone to the frozen food industry, which generally waits until the price of fresh corn begins to drop a little because it is no longer really fresh and producers and wholesalers cannot afford to store a product whose value is falling. I wouldn't buy 'fresh' now, simply because it isn't fresh.

The French do eat corn on the cob, but it is certainly not a big thing here.
I only eat what I grow myself. Pick when ripe enough, go straight into boiling water and served with sea salt and Breton butter.
At one euro a cob for a small stale one in Lidl I draw the line. The bigger supermarkets around here don't bother to keep them at all.
 

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There is some corn grown in France for sale "on the cob" - but this year was horrible for corn as it is. Corn needs hot weather, and lots of sun and water. And much of the corn crop in France is grown for animal feed anyhow - like where the animals consume the corn and the cob in total. It's not a variety that is suited for corn on the cob, or actually not great for human consumption in general. (It's not "tender" like what you want for corn on the cob.)
Correct. The common maize you see grown everywhere in France is grown for silage. I picked one many years ago to try it. No sweetness at all and tough as old rope.
 

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Back to apples, instead of asking for "Granny Smiths" try simply "Grannies".

I use any apple in crumbles/pies etc. Not fussed.

I always avoided Bramleys as you need to add sugar.
I have a Cox's Orange Pippin in the garden for eaters and a French Reinette for cooking. Both were a disaster this year due to weather. The same for my corn. My chickens enjoyed what little there was. The birds had the cherries, as usual and I have no idea who or what had my green plums.
 

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I have a Cox's Orange Pippin in the garden for eaters and a French Reinette for cooking. Both were a disaster this year due to weather. The same for my corn. My chickens enjoyed what little there was. The birds had the cherries, as usual and I have no idea who or what had my green plums.
I have a Cox tree in the garden. Zero fruit this year ....and it's my favourite apple. I eat them, I cook them and even made cider with them (not now as I no longer drink alcohol).
 

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I have a Cox tree in the garden. Zero fruit this year ....and it's my favourite apple. I eat them, I cook them and even made cider with them (not now as I no longer drink alcohol).
Your tree may have biennial ( crops every 2 years). This can happen to many apple varieties, due to different factors. Apart from environmental conditions, often caused when trees fruit very heavy one year. This then takes much energy from the tree and it has to recover, hence no crop the following year. There are ways to prevent biennialism that can only be prevented by tree management before the tree goes into cropping every 2 years. Biennialism is almost impossible to reverse. The easiest way to prevent apart from a technical management method called ring-barking, is to reduce the number of fruits once blossoming and set has completed.
 

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Your tree may have biennial ( crops every 2 years). This can happen to many apple varieties, due to different factors. Apart from environmental conditions, often caused when trees fruit very heavy one year. This then takes much energy from the tree and it has to recover, hence no crop the following year. There are ways to prevent biennialism that can only be prevented by tree management before the tree goes into cropping every 2 years. Biennialism is almost impossible to reverse. The easiest way to prevent apart from a technical management method called ring-barking, is to reduce the number of fruits once blossoming and set has completed.
Interesting, thanks. In 15 years, we never had a problem. Let's see what happens next year.
 
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