A couple of weeks back I seeded three trays with corn seeds in some soil and 12 days later these beautiful green shoots showed up and I have been enjoying these fellas in salad mixes, as tasty dinner decorations and I have bottled up some to try out as cocktail syrups (more on that later!).
Popcorn shoot is probably a bit unorthodox to grow as microgreens, but I fell in love with the idea of testing it out after I found a video on the Youtube channel “On The Grow” about them and how they grew them in their trailer-garden.
While their yellow versions are a result of a longer “blackout” period where the sprouts are covered up and only get minimal light for a longer period of time, mine only got about 24 hours under the cover so they turned out a lot greener: It’s hard to tell from the above photograph, but they have a very bright green color. Next go-around I’m going to test if I can get that funky yellow color going one tray or two and see how it changes the taste on these guys.
How does it taste? I never quite understood why maize is part of the grass-family until I ate them as microgreens. The distinct grassy and lightly acidic taste reminds me of how fresh cut grass smells like and the after taste has a sweet roundness to it. A touch too sweet for some of the family’s taste buds. The three trays of corn gave me plenty of material to experiment with the popcorn shoots and I found that they went very well with different kinds of stakes (especially if they were very spicy, then the popcorn shoots gave them another taste-dimension to them) and very well in tacos.
Chili and these microgreens where very good friends on the dinner plates I tested out. A big bonus is that the popcorn “straws” have a pleasant look to them and can be used as decorations – I’m sure more creative chefs could make some really interesting stuff with them.
Lots of Sugar and unique taste – Cocktail ingredient?
I’m not that far into my experimenting with the popcorn shoots as a flavor to cocktail syrups, but so far so good. I’ve tested three different varieties so far: One in water and two in simple syrups (one chopped up and one with just the whole leaves stuck into the bottle).
So far I like the chopped up version the best (in a 2 parts water, 1 parts sugar syrup) because it gives more of that grassy taste and a nice, clean hint of green to the syrup. I want to try out a few more versions before I settle in on a specific one and start testing out different long drinks to go with the new concoction. I have a feeling there is a great vodka or gin drink just waiting to be discovered out there!
Do you have any tips on cocktails? Let me know!