August Is Mirai Sweet Corn Season
During the Summer months of July and August, you can go to any Jewel or Mariano's or what-have-you and you'll come across sweet corn in a big bin. On sale, you can sometimes get it for a dime per ear. And, occasionally, you'll get some really great corn. But, if you get to one of the handful of Farmer's Markets where they sell Mirai Sweet Corn, you'll be ruined for any of that grocery store stuff. Mirai Corn is sold by an outfit called Twin Gardens Farm and they sell it in half-dozen bags that you see above.
From Twin Garden's site:
Mirai, pronounced ME-rye, was developed in Harvard, Illinois in the early 1990s. Mirai is a hybrid that combines the three main sweet corn genotypes, SE (sugar enhanced), SU(sugary), and SH2(shrunken). Mirai is not genetically modified and was bred naturally by cross pollinating the different sweet corn genes.
...The seed was first introduced to Japan because they have small farms where much of the work is still done by hand. The Japanese named it "Mirai" which means both "the future is coming" and "taste". Mirai was originally marketed as a fruit in Japan because it is so sweet.
...Mirai here in Harvard, is still picked by hand today, because Mirai is so tender that machinery would smash kernels and ears. Handpicking is much slower than if we were using machinery, but it ensures our goal of high quality produce.Now that you've read about the stuff, let me tell you the price: $5.00 for six ears. $0.83 per ear. Or about $0.75 MORE per ear than the grocery store stock. But, you guys...this stuff was originally marketed as fruit?!?! And is grown locally up in Harvard, Illinois? (That's kinda by Twin Lakes...)
And it is hand-picked?
Seems worth the seventy-five cents, right?
I think the first time Nat and I ate Mirai Sweet Corn was at the Elmhurst Farmer's Market, but now I can pick the ears up at the Daley Plaza Farmer's Market in the Loop.
If you see the Mirai corn booth, plant yourself in the line.