As a quick and simple snack served on its own, or as a tasty addition to a variety of meals, sweetcorn's uniquely delicate, sweet flavour is always a welcome treat.
A form of maize, sweetcorn is delicious fresh, frozen or tinned, making it versatile and an excellent vegetable to have on standby. It's grown extensively across southern England.
Sweetcorn is at its best when bought on the cob, and October is the best month to get it.
Nutrition of sweetcorn
Providing useful amounts of vitamin A, B3 and C, this delightful veg also contains folic acid and fibre. Vitamin B3 is beneficial for the metabolism and the nervous and digestive systems.
The best corn has shiny, plump kernels which are closely packed together. When they're very fresh, squeezing the kernels will cause them to secrete a milky liquid.
Careful corn storage
Corn should be kept refrigerated from the day of purchase until you're ready to use it. It should keep for 2–3 days. To ensure the corn keeps as long as possible, wrap it in damp kitchen roll and don't remove the husk.
If the husk is still attached to the corn, start by removing it. You can either eat the corn directly from the cob, or 'shuck' the corn to remove it from the cob before serving. This is best done after cooking, as the corn will be easier to remove.
To shuck the corn, cut one end off so that the base is flat (if this hasn't already been done) and place the flat end on a chopping board. With a sharp knife, slice the corn away from the cob.
Cooking the corn
One of the best things about sweetcorn is how many ways there are to cook it. This makes it easy to incorporate into a huge range of meals.
Boil: Boil in unsalted water for 3–6 minutes on the cob, or 2–3 for loose kernels.
- Roast/barbecue: With the husk attached, this will take 8–15 minutes, or 5–7 with the husk removed.
Microwave: Set your microwave to high, then cook up to ear of corn at time. This will take 4–6 minutes.
Grill: Set your grill to medium and place the corn onto a suitable grill pan. Cook the corn for around 15 minutes, taking care to turn them occasionally to ensure even cooking.