The Ingredient That Will Forever Change Your Canned Corn

From corn fritters and corn soup to Mexican street corn and cornbread, there are a plethora of recipes that feature a simple can of corn kernels. And what's not to love when canned corn imparts such a naturally sweet flavor, a soft crunch, and a few vitamins to these types of dishes? In fact, you'll find plenty of Vitamin C and fiber in canned corn, as well as a small amount of protein, according to Healthfully.

But when it comes to serving canned corn on its own, it may need a little nudge in the flavor direction from its friendly neighborhood pantry cabinet. That's because corn can be a bit plain without the addition of fat, herbs, sugar, or spices. And while many home cooks reach for flavorful seasonings beyond the salt and pepper duo, we're thinking of a certain "pungent" product that is a close relative of leeks, chives, and onions.

It's part of the Allium family

According to Food Revolution, the Allium family consists of onions, chives, leeks, shallots, and of course, garlic. Known for its pungent flavor and aroma, especially when consumed raw, garlic can be sold minced or chopped in jars, peeled, or even better, in its natural state as fresh garlic bulbs. My Recipes suggests using fresh garlic instead of its jarred counterpart to amp up your recipe, as it has more flavor, a better aroma, and imparts more vibrancy to dishes.

J. Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats states that using a variety of techniques will help to bring out the garlic flavor in your dish, or in this case, your canned corn, without making it taste too bitter. He suggests using whole slices toward the end of the cooking process, marinating the primary ingredients (such as corn kernels) with oil, salt, and minced garlic before cooking, or sizzling the garlic in cooking oil. In doing so, López-Alt says that the dish (or canned corn) will have much more richness and depth to it.

So before whipping up your next "corny" side dish, be sure to incorporate a few cloves of fresh garlic to forever change your canned corn.