A few weeks ago I had to pleasure of traveling to Iowa to attend #IACornQuest hosted by Iowa Corn. Where I learned about, you guessed it, corn. We visited farms, traipsed through cornfields, met the farmers, saw the machinery used to harvest corn and even saw how it was processed. Of course, we noshed on delicious corn centric recipes the entire trip as well. I learned more than I could have ever imagined about those golden kernels.
We arrived in Moline and took off for our digs. The Blackhawk Hotel in Davenport. I was smitten from the minute they opened the front door. It’s a beautiful property, that has rich history. A beautifully decorated lobby and gorgeous generous sized rooms with marshmallow like beds and plush hotel robes. I honestly didn’t want to leave once I sat down on the bed. Alas, I was hungry and that trumped the comfortable bed.
I took a trip back down to the lobby and dined in the restaurant for lunch. A burger and a bourbon, because me.
That evening our group met up and were taken via trolley, yes a trolley, to The Mississippi River Distilling Company. Where we were treated to tastings
and then a catered dinner on property. During dinner, we chatted with local farmers about the Iowa Corn Organization and learned about corn ethanol production and how it compares to other fuels. Fascinating.
The following morning we headed to breakfast where we were joined with representatives from the The American Lung Association, Iowa Corn as well as a local corn farmer. We heard about different benefits that come from corn production.
Then it was onto Whisk Away Café – Chef Laura Prichard, where we were able to prepare (and enjoy) everal of her corn centric recipes, including the tamales pictured above. While we were cooking, we heard from Dr. Ruth McDonald, a Professor and Chair at Iowa State University, who touched on GMO’s as well as the differences between organic farming vs. regular farming.
After we noshed on the recipes we prepared we were off to the farm. Where we met local farmers, rode in combines, and saw saw first hand how corn is farmed. We also may have traipsed through the corn fields.
Afterwards we we taken just down the road to see how the corn is processed and stored.
We ended our day at Gallagher farms, where we were treated to a down home tailgate dinner. Everyone was incredibly gracious and was happy to answer any questions we might have had.
If you follow me on INSTAGRAM, you know I have a thing for barns, and Iowa didn’t disappoint me in the barn department. That was one of my favorites.
I’ll be sharing a corn recipe with you very soon, but in the meantime, here are a few from the blog archives that you should give a go:
SPICY ROASTED CORN & CRAB SOUP
GRILLED CORN with TEQUILA LIME BUTTER
PULLED PORK NACHOS with CORN & AVOCADO
SWEET CORN ICE CREAM with BLUEBERRY BALSAMIC SAUCE
SWEET CORN & BLACKBERRY ICE CREAM
Disclaimer: My trip was sponsored by Iowa Corn, however all opinions are my own. Always have been. Always will be.