Freshly picked local corn on the cob is one of the best
parts of summer. And you're right about the trend being
toward short cooking times. Here's the logic: Very fresh
corn has a high sugar content. Once picked, sugar in the
kernels begins to turn to starch and corn's remarkable
sweet flavors diminish as the sugar disappears. The speed
with which this happens varies from one variety to another
and also according to the temperature at which the corn
is held. Warm temperatures hasten the action of enzymes
that convert sugar to starch.
So the best method of cooking corn is the quickest. Bring
water to a rolling boil. Add the corn. Return the water
to the boil as quickly as possible and time for 3 minutes.
Some cooks go so far as to say, as soon as the water returns
to the boil, the corn is cooked.
The point here is, keep the cooking time to a minimum,
to retains corn's sweetness and flavor. Long boiling causes
toughness, reduces flavor and corn's fleeting aromas disappear.
Try it! Keep in mind too that it's well worth searching
for very fresh corn, and cooking it as soon as possible.
There's a lot of sense in those old instructions to get
the corn pot boiling, then run from the garden to the