Florida ranks #2 nationally in the production and value of fresh market sweet corn, typically accounting for approximately 25 percent of sweet corn production in the U.S. According to USDA, the production of fresh corn from Florida is valued at $155 million annually.
Sweet corn is a good source of many nutrients. A medium-sized ear of corn has about 75 calories and one gram of fat. It supplies carbohydrates, protein, and potassium, and is a good source of dietary fiber.
Storing sweet corn
Freshness and cool storage after harvest are the secrets to getting good quality corn when shopping. When held in warm temperatures, the sugar in the corn changes to starch. Corn will taste less sweet. Super-sweet varieties hold the sugar content longer than regular corn varieties. When buying corn, look for ears stored in cooler produce sections at local stores or held in the shade or on ice at farmers’ markets or roadside stands. Look for husks that are tight, green, and fresh-looking. The stalk should be green and moist and the silk still moist, soft, and light in color.
Corn is best if you leave it in the husk until you are ready to cook it. It is best to cook corn soon after your buy it or pick it from your garden, so try not to store it too long. If you do have to store it, placing corn in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper of your refrigerator is best. For more information
Cooking sweet corn
When it comes to cooking, corn is very versatile. Sweet corn can be prepared in or out of the husk using a variety of methods.
Roasted Corn Relish
3 ears Florida sweet corn, shucked and silk removed or 2 ½ cups whole kernel corn
½ cup Florida grape tomatoes cut in half
½ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup chopped red onion
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Grated peel and juice from one lime
Salt and pepper to taste
Grill corn or roast in oven at 350° until kernels begin to brown. Cut off the cob and place in bowl. If using frozen or canned corn, roast in frying pan with small amount of olive oil until kernels begin to brown). Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve as a garnish or side dish. Makes 4 servings.
Questions? Contact Sharon Treen, UF/IFAS Extension, Flagler County Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)