Reviving Heirloom Corn

One day about eight years ago, chef Dan Barber of the famed Blue Hill restaurant at Stone Barns in the Hudson River Valley got a FedEx package from someone he didn’t know.

Inside were two ears of corn.  And a letter.

Chef Dan Barber prepares polenta with an heirloom corn variety at the Blue Hill restaurant in the Hudson River Valley.

The handwritten note explained that the corn was an heirloom variety called New England Eight Row Flint (or Otto File, by its Italian name), and that it was a taste that was nearly lost to history.

Native Americans cultivated this variety hundreds of years ago. The corn caught on with settlers in New England because it was hearty and nutritious.


Listen to the rest of the story  on NPR’s All Things Considered..