Food facts, Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn Nutrition, Selection, Storage & Availability The nutritional value of sweet corn includes high amounts of carbohydrates, vitamins and fiber.  In order to buy the freshest sweet corn possible, shop early in the day.  Look for corn with bright green husks and ears with plump kernels.  Kernels at the top should be smaller than the rest—larger kernels mean the corn is overmature. Avoid sweet corn with underdeveloped kernels, wilted or dried husks, brown kernels or depressed areas in the kernels.  There are three distinct types of sweet corn, separated by their genetic background:  normal sugary (SU), sugary enhancer (SE) and supersweet (Sh2).  Supersweet corn can be yellow, white or bicolored.   To ensure the best quality when eating sweet corn, eat as soon as possible after purchase, as its quality deteriorates fast after harvest.  In order to maintain moisture, keep the husks on until you are ready to eat the sweet corn and remove just prior to cooking. Fresh sweet corn is available in Wisconsin from July through September.

Sweet Corn Extras Native Americans began growing corn in the 1700’s, although many believe sweet corn is descended from wild corn native to the lowlands of the Andes Mountains.  Over the years, sweet corn breeding has produced increasingly sugary breeds, resulting in the sweet taste.  Due to this breeding for a sweet taste, many nutritional benefits of native corn have been lost.  After World War II, sweet corn was primarily a minor or local crop for fresh markets in the United States.

Information from the Wisconsin Fresh Market Vegetable Growers Association, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection and the University of Wisconsin-Extension.