Sweet corn – the golden gift from the Americas
Golden sweet corn – the crisp, sweet taste of summer. Find out more about why sweet corn is simply a-maizing all by itself, or as the perfect addition to soups, salads and Pizza!
Do you like colourfood? Then you surely love sweet corn! The bright yellow corn is an eye-catcher on salads, in soups and on Pizza. But how much do you know about this golden gift from the Americas?
Gold from the Americas
Sweet corn, or maize, is one of the Americas’ favourite vegetables and has been eaten by indigenous peoples here for thousands of years. Native Americans taught European settlers how to grow and prepare corn dishes, including popcorn, which they ate like breakfast cereal with milk and maple syrup.
Today, maize continues to be produced in South America. But European countries such as Spain, Southern France and Italy are also among the biggest exporters. Here, it’s also very common to pass by fields of maize, but this is more likely to be field corn, which is used as food for farm animals and not for us.
Did you know, sweet corn is technically a grain – not a vegetable? Or that the corn plant is actually a type of grass?
Sweet corn is harvested when the kernels are still juicy and sweet. It’s often called ‘sugar corn’ because it has a relatively high sugar content – 100 grams of sweet corn contain about 5 grams of sugar – enough to make it sweet to eat!
Cooking up a storm with sweet corn
If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on fresh sweet corn, you’ll have to eat it quick! Frozen and canned sweet corn is just as nutritious as fresh though, which means you can enjoy delicious sweet corn all year round.
There’s nothing like sinking your teeth into a crisp cob of buttery barbecued sweet corn in the summer. But there are lots of other yummy ways to prepare and eat it. You can roast, barbecue or boil (if boiling don't use any salt as it will toughen it up) and then smother in butter and salt. Or you can add lemon or lime juice, and sprinkle with cayenne pepper, or other herbs and spices to make a delicious side. Sweet corn kernels can also be added to soups or salads or even savoury pancakes!
Other delicious variations, from America’s deep South, are corn chowder and corn bread. And now you’re ready to enjoy the wonderful sweet corn in all its glory!