Corn, mainly known as sweet corn or maize in North Carolina, is a starchy plant common in cuisine from a variety of cultures. Corn is predominately harvested as a cereal crop; used to make flours, bread, and more. It can be eaten raw off the cob or cooked by steaming, stir-frying, baking—just about any way you could imagine! Healthy ears of corn are protected by a strong, fibrous outer stalk of leaves with no damage or bruising.
BEST STORAGE PRACTICES:
Store ears of corn with their husks intact in cold, refrigeration. Separate corn in vegetable drawer or crisper. Properly stored corn can last between 4 and 8 days.
FUN WAYS TO EAT AND COOK:
Corn is a versatile food that can be eaten in a variety of ways: raw, steamed, boiled, or stir-fried. Toss corn in with rice or eat it as a side with any meal. The natural salty and starchiness of the corn helps provide balanced tastes.
SELECTING SWEET CORN:
Choose sweet corn with unwilted husks and green colors. Discoloration, bruising, or damage signals past-due or improperly harvested corn. Corn itself should be bright yellow to pale yellow, and sometimes even white.
WHY IT’S GOOD TO EAT:
- Great source of dietary fiber and necessary carbohydrates
- Good source of Vitamin C, folate, and niacin
- Provides a good source of potassium
WHEN IT’S IN SEASON:
Corn is in prime harvesting season between April and early September. Coastal soils lend to a better harvest, but sweet corn is native to all parts of North Carolina including the mountains and piedmont.
HOW IT’S HARVESTED:
Corn can be harvested by hand or machine. Machine harvests tend to cut shorter shanks and less green husks which could prevent moisture loss, therefore preventing spoilage.
Corn Salad—Mix corn, (bell or spicy) peppers, onions, and tomatoes in bowl. Spice with cilantro, oregano, salt, and crushed pepper. Drizzle with oil and serve cold. Enjoy!