December 11, 2017
Types of Corn

Types of Corn

by Berkeley Wellness  

Fresh corn is available year round. However, to appreciate corn at its best, you should get it when it’s not long off the corn plant. This means buying it when local crops are available, usually in mid to late summer, and sometimes early fall.

Yellow and white super-sweet varieties of corn are the most popular in stores because they start out sweeter and convert their sugars to starch more slowly. This gives them a longer shelf life before the flavor deteriorates. Because of their super-sweet gene—a natural mutation of the sugar gene that was first identified in 1953—they have from four to 10 times the sugar content of traditional sweet corn.

Other interesting types of corn available include:

  • Baby corn: These novelties are merely undeveloped ears of sweet corn. They can be eaten cob and all. However, because they are so young, they do not have much corn flavor and their sugars haven’t developed yet. Although you can occasionally find them fresh, people are probably most familiar with the canned version used in Chinese cuisine.
  • Corn shoots: As the name suggests, these are just the beginnings of the corn plant. They are very sweet and tender and taste somewhat like the grains that would eventually grow on them. They are available almost exclusively in upscale farmers’ markets.
  • Indian Summer: This variety of corn looks like the decorative dried “Indian corn” that is a familiar sight on front doors in the Thanksgiving season. But Indian Summer corn is sold fresh and is an edible sweet corn. Like its dried counterpart, this corn has a mixture of yellow, white, red, and purple kernels.

See our recipe for: Corn Relish.