SF chef pulls corn from his menu

Souring on sweet corn: Daniel Patterson, the chef at the award-winning restaurant Coi in San Francisco, has renounced corn, saying that relentless breeding to find sweeter and sweeter hybrids that play to America’s sweet palate has led to corn that “… is so sweet that it overpowers or undermines everything it accompanies, while lacking one key component: corn flavor.” But if you go seeking the more flavorful corn of your youth, odds are high that you won’t find it because because consolidation in the seed industry has removed many old varieties from the market.  (Coi Restaurant/SF Magazine)

7 Responsesto “SF chef pulls corn from his menu”

  1. Cherie says:

    Coi sounds like it may be worth visiting solely for this reason. Good for Chef Patterson- I hope he gets more press for his stand against big corn so more may begin to take note of the bullshit thats going on within the agricultural industry.


  2. Bravo, Chef! Mexicans are not The People of Corn. United Statesians are–it’s in everything. And that’s part of the reason people in this mostly benighted country are corpulent.

    There’s another delightful food from my youth that suffers from the same malady: watermelon. I hope Mr. Patterson 86′s that, too.

  3. Almost on cue, the August 9th San Francisco Chronicle food section had an article about how sweet corn can be a great dessert ingredient, complete with several recipes including sweet corn panna cotta and sweet corn cupcakes.

  4. Hurray.  A farmer friend told me he gets all kinds of people asking at the farmers market how sweet is his corn.  We need people to make a stand for taste, and help educate others about what flavor really is.

  5. Faith Kramer says:

    Anyone know a source of corn that still tastes like corn in the SF Bay area?

    I will have to say one of the finest desserts I ever had was the corn ice cream at Chiklicious in NYC a few years back, a revelation.

    Re: the watermelons — just try to find some of the old fashioned kind with seeds — the seedless ones usually have no taste.  And don’t get me started on what Dole and Maui Gold has done to the pineapple!

  6. I would also encourage everyone, even city folk, to buy some non hybrid corn seed, plant your own, and enjoy. Non hybrids provide seed every year that you can plant. Even if you don’t eat it, save some, keep the good corn alive. I found some non hybrid blue corn on eBay. Just search for Non-Hybrid Heirloom Blue Corn (Zea mays). There are also good old Mexican strains to be found there.

  7. Charlotte says:

    This drives me nuts! I grew up in the Midwest, long ago enough now that sweet corn tasted like corn not like sugar. I too have given up on commercial sweet corn, because its so insipid … ugh.