High summer is peak season for delicious corn, so what better day to celebrate National Corn Fritter Day than July 16? We love eating corn in all ways — cornbread, corn salad, corn hash, corn on the cob slathered in butter — but one of our very favorites is crispy, golden brown corn fritters. A fritter is a dish where some ingredient (meat, fruit, vegetables, seafood, you name it) is mixed with batter and fried. Corn fritters originated as a dish in the South but now can be found on menus throughout the country. The traditional version includes a plain batter and corn but you can find all sorts of variations out there. Just try Googling “corn fritter recipe” and you’ll get more than 800,000 results! We love them on their own as a snack at pretty much any time of day, or as a tasty side to round out any meal (yes, even breakfast). Pour yourself a glass of iced tea, sit back, and let summer wash over you as we take some time to appreciate the fact that there’s an entire day dedicated to this delectable dish. No corn-y jokes, we promise.
National Corn Fritter Day Activities
1. Make your own
Corn fritters are made out of ingredients you most likely already have in your pantry: flour, baking powder, eggs, milk, and butter. All you need to do is mix them together, stir in some corn (fresh, canned, or frozen), and fry them up in hot oil. You could even make a whole dinner party out of it and serve them alongside a bunch of other Southern-inspired dishes.
2. Harvest your own corn
See if you can find a pick-your-own farm near you that grows corn, and get lost in the corn fields. Maybe if you’re lucky they’ll have a corn maze, too. If you can’t find a farm, buy some fresh corn on the cob from your local grocery store and shuck it yourself—the hard labor will make the fresh corn in your fritters taste so much better.
3. Branch out to another cuisine
Did you know that corn fritters are also an incredibly popular dish in Indonesia? Over there they’re known as perkedel jagung. Their version is similar to ours, but with some key differences. They kick up the spice level by mixing scallions, shallots, and garlic into the batter, and they deep fry the fritters in coconut oil. Indian pakoras are another form of Asian fritter, and they’re delicious when made with corn.
Why We Love National Corn Fritter Day
A. They’re all-American
Corn is the number one crop grown in the United States, and we produce more corn than any country in the world. We grow so much of it that there’s actually a region known as the Corn Belt. The majority of it goes into livestock feed or is turned into biofuel in the form of ethanol, but it’s also a distinct ingredient in American cuisine. There’s a reason why no Fourth of July meal feels complete without some sort of corn dish on your plate.
B. They’re versatile
The traditional corn fritter recipe calls for savory ingredients, but many people choose to sweeten them up by dusting them with powdered sugar or serving them with a sweet topping like honey, maple syrup, or jam. And because the recipe is so simple, you can think of them as a blank canvas. Want to throw some onion in there? Chop up some fresh herbs like parsley or dill? Kick them up with cayenne powder? Go for it.
C. They’re fried
And let’s be honest: it’s hard to find a food that doesn’t taste better when fried. It may not be the healthiest way to eat, but everything in moderation, right? Besides, holidays were meant to be celebrated.