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Is there any way to make corn on the cob elegant?

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The question

My partner and I are planning an elegant reception for my son's return to Canada after six years overseas. He has left the menu entirely to us, with one exception: He has insisted that there be corn on the cob, which seems a bit inelegant to us. Is there any way to make corn on the cob more formal?

The answer

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You can always braid the corn silk and crochet it into individual corn doilies. With a few weeks' labour, a box of tapioca starch and a few hundred dollars' worth of platinum foil, you could make some mighty impressive cob tuxedos, too.

If it were me, though, I'd try to find some old-fashioned corn holders: the pronged handles that go into either end of the cob. I'm partial to the vintage Bakelite ones; there are plenty of antique silver-plate corn skewers in antique shops and on sites like Etsy and eBay, too. Nothing, though, is going to make cob corn elegant.

Fresh corn is finger food – a signal to your guests that it's okay to relax and enjoy themselves a little. I'd bet a set of coltan-and-yellow diamond cob holders that that's the real reason behind your son's request.

Chris Nuttall-Smith is The Globe and Mail's food critic. Have an entertaining question? E-mail

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