Hey there, kiddos! I'm Kernel Corn Cob, a special type of corn that's really tasty and sweet and available at your local greengrocer. You may have heard of my cousin, regular corn or maize, which is used to make popcorn, polenta, and cornflakes.
Sweetcorn grows tall and has delicious yellow kernels on the cob. When you cook sweet corn, those kernels become juicy and bursting with sweetness. It's like having a burst of sunshine in your mouth!
Whether you're enjoying corn at a summer barbecue, a family picnic, or at home, sweetcorn always brings smiles. So, next time you see sweetcorn, give it a try.
Now, let me tell you about a corn plant. It grows tall and produces ears of corn on its stems. Each ear is covered by green leaves called husks, with silky threads at the end. These threads help the corn plants pollinate each other and make more kernels.
Inside the ear, there's a part called the cob which is about 20-25cm long. It's the hard centre that holds all the kernels together. When you press fresh corn kernels, a milky juice spurts out.
So, when we talk about a corn ear, we mean the whole thing—the ear and the cob. The cob is like the strong centre, and the kernels are the seeds we eat.
Isn't it amazing how corn plants provide us with delicious treats and have their own special parts? It's like a little adventure in nature!
We're generally available all year round in Australia but at our best in warmer months from September to May.
Sweetcorn is sold by colour not variety. Most corn is yellow but the super sweet varieties have both yellow and white kernels. The two-coloured corn is called bi-colour or polka dot sweetcorn.
We're a grass which can grow to 2 metres or more. We prefer a warm and dry temperature with well-drained sandy soil.
Each parent plant bears a male part or tassel at the top and a female part or cob lower down the stem. The female cob produces long silks on which the pollen from the tassel falls. The pollen goes down the silk to fertilise the seed. Our many seeds are protected inside a tight green leaf covering.
We're picked by being snapped off the stalk, when the kernels (the seeds) are sweet and juicy. We're then sent to the markets with our husks still attached. We need careful handling after we’re picked to ensure we maintain our high quality.
Select those of us with fresh, green husks. Our kernels should be bright, and plump and show no signs of wrinkling. The freshest corn will spurt a milky juice when the kernel is pressed with your fingernail.
Store us in the vegetable crisper or an airtight container in your refrigerator. We're best eaten within 1 day so we are sweet and juicy.
Corn was grown for thousands of years before explorer Christopher Columbus saw fields of it growing in the Caribbean in 1492. Ears of corn have been found in caves in Mexico that date back to around 5000-6000 BC.
For thousands of years, various types of corn were grown in an area stretching from Chile and Brazil to southern Canada. Corn was a major component of the diet of the Aztec, Mayan, Inca and South American Indians and formed part of the group of three staple plant foods (corn, beans and squash) eaten by the Native Americans who believed that they had to be together or they would not grow.
In Australia in 1791, James Ruse planted and harvested corn and because of his success, he was granted 20 acres of land to farm. Sweetcorn is still a major vegetable grown in the Hawkesbury River area but the majority of sweetcorn (about 66%) is grown in Queensland.
One cob of sweetcorn has roughly 800 kernels in 16 rows.
Strip green husks from the cob and remove the silky threads before cooking.
Corn on the cob is delicious served hot as a vegetable or just as a snack. It’s great with a spread of butter or vegemite.
Husks are often left on during barbecuing but silks are removed. The corn is soaked in cold water for an hour before barbecuing so that it does not burn.
Boil or microwave corn cobs.
Remove kernels from cooked corn and add to salads
Add raw kernels to fritter, hotcake and burger mixtures.
Try these great corn recipes from Sydney Markets;