Cream of the Crop: Sweetcorn Facts
While it’s easy enough to get frozen or canned sweetcorn all year round, there’s nothing quite like the taste of fresh sweetcorn. Packaged in its own delicious wrapping, this taste of summer is utterly delicious in so many forms, it’s hard to get bored!
I often see people removing the husks in supermarkets, and take the corn home only to wrap it up in tin foil. Why? There’s so much flavour in the husk; just cook it as it comes!
My favourite way of eating sweetcorn is pretty much as nature intended: on a barbecue, cooked in its own husk for 15-20 minutes, and served with butter and salt – or lime and salt for a healthier option. Try it sprinkled with cayenne, or dust with chilli flakes; or use with some leftover shredded chicken, a good stock and a spoonful of miso for a delicious Chicken & Sweetcorn Soup.
And of course, waste not want not – if you’re taking the corn off the cob, throw the husks and the core (not the silks) into a pressure cooker, along with an onion, celery and some carrots (or in my case, the onion skins, the tops and tails of celery, and the washed carrot peel – that way I use everything!), season and cook for 20 minutes. Brilliant vegetable stock!
So, in celebration of this delicious grain, I’ve sourced a few fun facts about sweetcorn that you can relay to win the trivia prize at your next barbecue!
So corn(y): Fun facts about sweetcorn
- On average, a corn ear has around 800 kernels. There is one silk strand for every corn kernel.
- An ear of corn always has even-numbered rows. (Go on – count them!)
- When choosing your corn, don’t peel off the green; feel the kernels through the husk, and pick the ones that feel tight and plump.
- It takes around 115 days to grow corn from scratch; that’s why you see cornfields pretty much all year round.
- Sweetcorn leaves used to be used as chewing gum in Native America; popcorn with milk and maple syrup was a popular breakfast choice. (Yum?)
- One ear of corn has approximately 86 calories.
- Sweetcorn is a carbohydrate that’s high in fibre, and rich in beta-carotene and lutein.
- Sweetcorn wasn’t always as sweet as it is today; the grain has been sweetened to match our tastebuds.