Munson Farms Corn is candy on the cob
"I think it's awesome," says Luca D'Italia executive chef Hunter Pritchett. He may be understating his fondness just a bit; Luca's board looks like the work of a man obsessed. "You could actually have six courses of corn dishes...I use three cases of their corn a week, which for a restaurant our size, is a lot," Pritchett admits.
He makes a corn risotto with sea urchin, topped with fried corn silks. For dessert? Corn gelato or, even more indulgent, corn budino -- Italian pudding -- with toasted marshmallow gelato and pancetta butterscotch. But you may not have much longer to try that made with sweet Munson corn, as the end of the season is approaching. "I'll be sad to see it go," says Pritchett, wistfully.
As one of Denver's first chefs to truly embrace local and seasonal ingredients, Teri Rippeto, owner of Potager, has been using Munson's corn for over a decade. "We've been buying our produce from the Boulder Farmer's market for fifteen years," Rippeto says, and Munson Farms has been there to provide the quality and quantity that she demands. The Munson family recently came down to Potager to toast the end of the season and sample the last fruits of the harvest.
Squash of all kinds is definitely in season at the Munson farm stand.
In tasting what Rippeto does with Munson's sweet corn, you find out just how much it truly pops, announcing itself in the flavor of the dish. Rippeto respects the angelic perfection of the kernel, keeping it whole and, when possible, raw. "That's how you know it's fresh," she says. A golden brick of corn "pudding," pillowy but crispy on the top to withstand the drippings of a rack of BBQ ribs, is studded with these nuggets. Anyone who's grown up on a farm will understand the synergy of taste between fresh corn and grilled meat, and Potager readily taps into that nostalgia.
And a new generation of fans is emerging. The Munson family has a farm intern, Kristen Kron, who's a corn convert. "It's pretty simple, you know?" Kron says. "You plant something, you work hard, and you get amazing produce. And Munson has the best."
Potager's John Long BBQ Ribs with corn pudding, roasted peaches and cucumber slaw. Kron and a box of just-picked tomatoes.