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Photo: emilyrides on Flickr

From April to September, corn on the cob makes an appearance at picnics and cookouts across the country. In the Northeast we prefer to wait until August when it’s at its sweetest. But this early in the season you can get corn on the cob from Florida or California.

When you’re buying it, peel back the husk and make sure there are no sunken or missing kernels. Also steer clear of brown or mushy spots. Ideally you should see plump little kernels in full rows, either yellow or white or a mix of both colors.

Early in the season corn on the cob can be a little woodier in texture and the skins of the kernels can be a bit tough, so the corn benefits from blanching (placing in a pot of simmering salted water for 3 to 4 minutes before placing on the grill).

If the corn is at its peak, you can shuck it, being sure to remove the silks (the white, stringy-looking things), rinse under water, and place it directly on the grill. While you can grill it right in its husk, we think shucking it first is easier and in the end makes for a tastier ear of corn.