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Beginner's guide to corn

Are you completely new to sweetcorn? This article covers the absolute basics of sweet corn and will bring you up to speed.

Corn TermsMost sweet corn in Kentucky is planted in late April and harvested in early July. Sweet corn should not be confused with its larger cousin field corn, which is harvested in the fall. Field corn has much larger ears and is grown more for its dry grain properties than produce. The kernels are tougher and generally less sweet.

Sweet corn comes in three basic varieties: white, yellow and mixed (yellow and white kernels). Within those groups, there are hundreds of great varieties and hybirds, but we grow a white corn named Silver Queen. We picked Silver Queen because of its durability and high customer demand. Recently we've added a new mix called Peaches and Cream to round out our product selection.

Shucking

When cooking an ear of corn, most recipes recommend you shuck or remove the outer husks. The easiest way to do this is to pierce the top of the ear with your fingernail and peel the husks back like a banana. Do this over a garbage can. You should also remove the silks from the top of the ear and rinse each ear in the sink with warm water.

Blanching

Some recipes call for blanching or boiling the corn. Blanching stops the action of enzymes that cause the corn to mature. Most people prefer slightly immature corn because the kernels are more tender and tastier than mature corn. Basically, blanching involves placing the corn in a wire basket and submerging it into a kettle of boiling water. You should use at least a gallon of water for each pound of corn. Boil for about 4 minutes and then immediately place the corn in ice water for 4 minutes. Now you're ready to freeze or can it.