Corn is a vegetable that grows in ears that are wrapped in tightly bound lime hued husks with silks and a tassel that extends out from the tip. The kernels are packed in tight almost uniform rows. A single ear of corn can contain up to 400 kernels. Freshly harvested yellow corn at its peak ripeness is sweet, offering flavors of almond and sugar, the kernels so succulent, the skin pops as you bite into it. As the corn matures, the kernels lose their milky consistency giving way to a starchy and doughy consistency. At this point, the corn is considered a grain crop and is best suited for processing or feedstock.
Fun Fact: Though white corn is preferred for fresh eating in Latin cultures, yellow corn is most often used for masa and tortilla making. Yellow corn is the ubiquitous fresh eating and grain crop variety in Midwest and Northeast America.
- Vitamin A important for vision, bone development, and immune function
- Beta-carotene precursor to vitamin A, an antioxidant which is good for eyesight and skin
How to Shop
Look for fresh green husks and ears that are filled to the tip. Look for kernels that are tender, full and firm enough to break under the slightest pressure.
How to Grow
Corn is not recommended to be grown indoors. Corn requires a long growing period in warm weather. Corn should be in soil that drains well and is able to hold moisture. Using mulch helps reduce evaporation. When planting, sow seeds about 1 inch deep and about 4-6 inches apart. Rows should be spaced 30-36 inches apart. Water well at planting time, corn tends to use a lot of water.
How to Store
Keeping fresh corn from drying out is key. At home, store the ears wrapped tightly in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. If you don't plan on eating your corn within three days, freeze it.