Nothing is quite as good at a backyard barbecue as a fresh, juicy ear of delicious Arizona grown sweet corn. We are in the early part of the sweet corn harvest as ears of corn from the farms in the central part of the state start showing up in farmer’s markets and in grocery store bins. The local sweet corn season spans the entire summer, running from late May all the way into September thanks to the farms in the North and South parts of the state which will start harvesting in mid-July. There is no doubt that the sweet corn season ushers in summer fun like no other food. You can find a wide variety of farmers selling sweet corn this summer on Arizona Farm Bureau’s Fill Your Plate, just click on “Find a Farm Product” and select corn from the drop down menu.
One of the best reasons to eat local, Arizona grown sweet corn this summer is that it is packed with nutrients as well as flavor. Sweet corn provides vitamins A and C, potassium, and thiamine. It is cholesterol free, packed with antioxidants, and full of fiber. It is also a whole grain and who doesn’t need more whole grains in their diet!
Get in the mood to celebrate sweet corn this summer by checking out our new “Celebrate Arizona Sweet Corn” video which tells the story of sweet corn in Arizona agriculture and features the hardworking local farmers that grow it.
Ever wondered where sweet corn came from or how long we have been growing it? To answer those and many other questions about the origins of sweet corn, here are some of the facts we find more interesting about this delicious and nutritious vegetable.
- Corn is native to the Americas and we know it has been domesticates since at least 8,000 B.C.
- Corn was originally used as a more generic term that related to whatever grain was most prevalent in a region. This meant that corn in England was actually wheat and corn in Scotland and Ireland was actually oats.
- Corn as we know it today got its name from the early American settlers.
- Sweet corn, which is a whole grain, is the third most important crop in the world.
- Within each ear of corn you will find between 500 and 1000 kernels of corn.
- There will always been an even number of rows of kernels on each cob, usually 16.
- Within an ear of corn, there is one piece of silk for each kernel of corn.
You can also go beyond the cob and try some of these delicious recipes featuring sweet corn.
- Baked Corn Dish
- Chili Corn Bread
- Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Corn and Black Bean Salsa
- Corn and Green Bean Casserole
- Old Mexico Style Pozole
- Sauteed Zucchini with Corn and Chives
- Tamale Pie