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Beautiful Corn: America's Original Grain from Seed to Plate Paperback – September 25, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review


Beautiful Corn is a great read! In this lyrical love letter to an ancient, fascinating food, Anthony Boutard offers us a rich harvest of history, a primer on growing the best varieties, the close observations of a brilliant, insatiably curious farmer, and some tasty recipes to boot.
—Lorna Sass, author of the James Beard Award winning Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way

Part love song to an ancient grain, part elevated instruction on how to grow, cook and consume it, part history and animated story, Beautiful Corn opens our eyes to a food plant that humans have both cultivated and been cultivated by. Anthony Boutard’s book is as nourishing as the corn he so wonderfully describes.
—Michael Ableman, farmer, author of From The Good Earth, On Good Land, and Fields Of Plenty

Anthony Boutard tells a story of corn we haven't heard—not as fuel, or livestock feed, or food product—but as whole food, with the flavor and diversity that comes with thoughtful farming. Part history, part how-to manual (Boutard grows, grinds and cooks corn in all its variations), Beautiful Corn returns the culture, and the cuisine, to our most abundant and mistreated crop. —Dan Barber, Chef / Co-Owner, Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns

Never has there been such a book that covers corn so completely and in such an ecologically sound way. From the historical origins and uses by the early domesticators to the modern methods of mass production agriculture this book shows the reader the proper way to grow, harvest and use corn in an environmentally friendly way. Anthony shows us how the entire process can be ecologically friendly and help contribute to a happier healthier world for all. —Glenn and Linda Drowns, Sand Hill Preservation Center

Corn is a great gift to the world from the Americas. This essential grain, once enormous in variety, can be magical, dangerous, delicious, and life-giving. Anthony Boutard’s elegant clean prose guides us through its story – from history to science to politics to recipe to cultivation. Beautiful Corn is a beautiful book.—Brian Brett, author of Trauma Farm

Anthony Boutard did a wonderful job, he was able to tell the “real” history of corn, including all the different species and uses of this precious crop. This is definitely the book that was missing in my personal collection about the typical products.—Aurelio Barattini, Food Of Tuscan Farmers blog, chef, teacher and restauranteur

From the Back Cover

FROM SEED TO PLATE – THE SEASONS OF A REMARKABLE CROP

Part love song to an ancient grain, part elevated instruction on how to grow, cook and consume it, part history and animated story, Beautiful Corn opens our eyes to a food plant that humans have both cultivated and been cultivated by. ---Michael Ableman, farmer, author of From The Good Earth, On Good Land, and Fields Of Plenty

Corn is the grain of the Americas. In terms of culinary uses, it is amazingly diverse, reflecting the breathtaking variety of the continents and environments from which it evolved. The consummate immigrant, corn is grown extensively on every continent except Antarctica.

Much more than a simple how-to book, Beautiful Corn weaves together this unique plant’s contribution to our culture, its distinctive biology and the practical information needed to grow and enjoy it at home. Market farmer and naturalist Anthony Boutard advocates a return to this traditional, nourishing and beautiful whole grain, in all of its rich diversity.

Come along on this lyrical and inspiring journey through the seasons, and discover the pure joy of restoring heritage corn varieties to our tables. An unabashed celebration of a much-maligned culinary treasure, Beautiful Corn will forever change the way you view this remarkable plant.

Anthony Boutard tells a story of corn we haven't heard—not as fuel, or livestock feed, or food product—but as whole food, with the flavor and diversity that comes with thoughtful farming. Part history, part how-to manual (Boutard grows, grinds and cooks corn in all its variations), Beautiful Corn returns the culture, and the cuisine, to our most abundant and mistreated crop.---Dan Barber, Chef / Co-Owner, Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns

In this lyrical love letter to an ancient, fascinating food, Anthony Boutard offers us a rich harvest of history, a primer on growing the best varieties, the close observations of a brilliant, insatiably curious farmer, and some tasty recipes to boot.--Lorna Sass, author of the James Beard Award winning Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way

Anthony Boutard is a widely recognized advocate in the local food movement, well-known for his efforts in reviving long-lost crops and bringing little-known varieties to market. He and his wife Carol own Ayers Creek Farm, a 144-acre organic market farm in Gaston, Oregon specializing in berries, beans, grains and greens for sale to local restaurants and markets.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers (September 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865717281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865717282
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kelley Wilkinson on December 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I waited a long, long time for this book to present itself. Last year I read that Anthony was coming out with a book, and I waited, and waited...
Here at last, I am so happy to finally have it in my hands. It is as I imagined, a love story from a fantastic market grower who becomes as obsessed about his crops as I am about mine. I have spent years searching the internet to find some of the tidbits he shares with us. So many of my experiences have replicated his, and it is wonderful to have someone else even more knowledgable share what he knows. Anyone who has ventured into the world of growing heirloom and open pollinated seeds, discovering little-known varieties, knows what it is like to get hooked and just want to know more. When we grow these heirlooms to feed ourselves and our families, it is impossible to turn back to mass-produced agri-food. I immensely enjoyed getting a taste of his world, from the over-my-head scientific info that will delight breeders and serious growers, to his humorous insights into the frustrations of various tools used for growing food...(this about a seeding machine) "We have one and barely use it. It is amazingly sturdy, though; in a fit of frustration, I can throw it twenty feet or so without damaging it."
Anthony takes us on a journey of many years, telling us the history of mother corn, where and how it was used, discusses types and varieties, how to grow it, harvest, store, prepare it, and to bring it to the table in all it's glory. He speaks about why it is so important to save our own seeds and what he selects for in his own seeds.
I loved learning answers about questions that I didn't even know how to ask...about 'Queen' ears... about 'root exudates' from the crown roots of the crazy and wild peruvian corn that I had grown.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Addison Dewit VINE VOICE on November 14, 2012
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This is such a sweet ode to corn it's hard to find fault with it. With all the romance comes some really practical information (and some technical stuff you may want to skip) and I dare anyone who reads it not to plan a garden for corn the following spring.
I think every vegetable deserves a tribute like this but then again, corn has an amazing story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Weidman on March 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Beautiful Corn is a delightful account of corns history, culture and biology. Very well written and engaging, the pace of this book never lags or slips into dry lecture. Here is a 'reference' book that reads like a good novel, fast and absorbing! I highly recommend this book for anyone interested or concerned with knowing where their food comes from, as well as gardeners passionate about their craft.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth J Crepeau on January 17, 2013
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Apparently I'm going through a maize phase right now because I stayed up late reading this a couple nights in a row.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By NORSKIRSK on December 14, 2013
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For those who love reference books Boutard's book Beautiful Corn is probably the only book anyone would want or need on the this subject. Boutard shares his wealth of information he has gleaned from history, science, nature and personal experience, as a friend relating to others with a common interest. Paul Stamets knows mushrooms. Anthony Boutard knows corn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Kruesi on November 24, 2013
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A fabulous book. I learned more about corn from this one book than I thought was possible. It runs the full gambit from corn’s history, biology, growth, saving your own seed to cooking and enjoying the final result. Told with a great sense of humor.
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Informative and enlightening, this book is well worth the read.

The more we know about what we eat the better for us and our world.
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