Farmer’s corn wins People’s Choice award

Sep 11th, 2015 | By | Category: Pack your bags
GREG EICHELBERGER/FORTHE JOURNAL    Richard Johnson, owner of Grove City Gardens Farm in Blackfoot, won the People’s Choice Food Award on Monday at the Eastern Idaho State Fair, with a sample of his juicy sweet corn.

GREG EICHELBERGER/FORTHE JOURNAL
Richard Johnson, owner of Grove City Gardens Farm in Blackfoot, won the People’s Choice Food Award on Monday at the Eastern Idaho State Fair, with a sample of his juicy sweet corn.

By GREG EICHELBERGER

For the Journal

Even though Richard Johnson, owner of Grove City Gardens Farm in Blackfoot (with his autumn mazes and catering services), has had fans of his delicious, juicy sweet corn for many years now. He has just made a whole new legion of fans with his victory in the People’s Choice voting at the annual Eastern Idaho State Fair on Monday.

“It’s just such an awesome feeling,” he said of his winning entry, roasted Mexican Crazy Corn. “We have been a contestant for more than three years now and although we have finished second a few times, this is are first win. It’s wonderful and we are so grateful for those who voted us No. 1.”

The ballot question here was who had the best fair food and with Johnson’s blend of fresh, home-grown corn, special mayonaise, Mexican grated cheese, crisp bacon and a sprinkling of chili lime powder (served either on the cob or in a large container). The results were overwhelmingly in favor of the delicacy.

“I think it’s amazing,” said Erin Sistruck, 14, munching on two large cobs and enjoying every bite. “I come here all the time. It’s the best corn on the cob I have ever had.”

Jeff Anderson, owner of Lemonade Smashers, the booth next to Johnson’s agreed.

“It’s a fantastic product,” said the Pocatello resident who has had the kiosk at the fair next to the Crazy Corn silo for the past three years. “I am so happy that he won the People’s Choice prize. He really deserved it and he is such a nice guy, too. It’s a pleasure to work next to him year after year.”

Utilizing a special corn grown just for the fair with triple the sugar for the most satisfying taste one could imagine (even to the point where one can take a bite out of the cob before its cooked), it’s then roast in the husk and given the full treatment.

“People in Los Angeles know of street vendors who sell this kind of corn, but most people in Idaho do not,” Johnson said. “The lines at our booth show that there is a great love for this, though.”

He added that recent crowds have broken all records and he expects more and more to try (or retry) the corn over the next week.

This year, Johnson, who has seven children — most of whom help him at the booth — along with numerous friends and neighbors, also designed and built a replica corn silo to add to theambiance of the product.

“When we tried to figure out just what we could add to the mix to enter into the contest, we went through a lot of possibilities, but it finally came down to one simple ingredient — bacon,” Johnson said. “That’s what I think put us over the top.”

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