The taste of summer is fresh, raw, sugary corn straight off the cob. But it's winter—and absurdly cold out—so my fresh-corn fantasies are on hold. While canned corn is not the same, it can be enjoyed all year. On nights when I don't feel like cooking, I fry a little bacon, then pour it (along with its accompanying fat and crispy pan scrapings) into a can of sweet corn and eat the entire thing—preferably in the dark, with a little salt, pepper, mayo, and/or Sriracha hot sauce—for dinner. I didn't think this meal could get any better until I discovered Trader Joe's canned corn, which takes everything to an almost dubious level of crunchiness and sweetness. My initial disbelief was anticipated, and summarily dismissed, by the label's message: "This unique variety of corn stays crisp and fresh even when canned. It is naturally sweet. No sugar has been added." If you say so, Joe.
While reading this year's issue of "the Saveur 100," I was pleased to find a tribute to canned peas: "With their pleasingly musky flavor, they're the epitome of soulfulness." I had to test it out, and I'm happy to report that some good-quality tuna packed in olive oil mixed with one can of peas has been added to my lazy-dinner repertoire.