Why You Should Ferment Your Extra Sweet Corn

When it comes to sweet corn season, Myles McVay of Otus Supply doesn’t let a single kernel go to waste. When four cases of Michigan sweet corn arrived at the Detroit restaurant, he was able to use half of it, and put the rest away to ferment. “When you ferment sweet corn you get the sweet notes, the sour notes and the natural brine,” says the chef who was inspired by all of the fermented foods he had while traveling in Scandinavia. “It added a different element to every dish we tried,” he says.

At Otus Supply, the fermented kernels showed up mid-summer in a sweet and sour cucumber “noodle” salad with soft, local, French-style feta, charred Meyer lemon, citrus honey vinaigrette, a touch of chile oil, shaved red onion and toasted black sesame seeds. Housemade sesame crackers are broken up over the top “to give textural balance to the layers of fat, acid, salt, crunch and heat,” says McVay. “I always try to put [those layers] in everything.”

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