Yesterday I posted about my first try at making hominy corn but there is another way I enjoy corn and that is by parching it. Parching is a traditional way of preparing corn for eating and the idea of parching must be very ancient as many societies around the world also parch other grains that grow in their regions. Dry corn kernels are heated in a skillet but they do not pop, just puff a little. That’s because the corn used for parching is high in soft starches and its seed coat is thin so moisture in the seed isn’t trapped like it is popcorn. Preferred varieties for parching are types of dent and flour corn. I use my Painted Mountain corn for parching and it works quite well and ranks high on flavor and texture. But there is another corn that can be parched that is not a flour corn. This corn is a sweet corn derived from deliberate crossings I made of eight varieties over the a past fifteen years. It has no name, yet, but grows about six feet tall, sometimes tillers, and produces two to three 8-inch cobs with eight to ten rows of multi-colored kernels in shades of red, yellow, orange, white, cream, pink, blue, and black. I plant a few hundred plants of this corn each year for roasting fresh and for parching
To parch corn first take about one cup of clean dry fully mature corn kernels. Put these into a hot skillet with no oil or grease. Stir continually over medium heat. The kernels will expand doubling in size and some will slightly pop open (you’ll hear the popping sound). When most of the kernels have expanded from the heat the corn is done. You can add some salt or maybe hot pepper powder or just eat them as they are. The flavor of the parched sweet corn is sweet and nutty and they are at once crunchy and chewy and not jaw breaking, tooth fracturing hard like the blah “corn nuts” sold in gas stations.