Fans of white and yellow varieties are welcome to debate which is sweeter and more flavorful, though there really isn’t much of a difference between the two beyond personal preference. A number of heirloom varieties are known for more pronounced “corn” flavor but begin to convert their sugars to starch soon after picking, meaning freshness can be an issue; many modern varieties are bred for increased and prolonged sweetness.
Look for varieties including white Silver Queen, as well as Mirai, a sweet hybrid with great flavor. Corn is best enjoyed soon after picking, but many varieties will retain their sweetness and flavor up to a few days. As always, it’s best to check with the farmer when purchasing.
What to cook: Don’t worry about cooking corn before enjoying, the raw kernels make great additions to salads, salsas and slaws, or as a garnish for soups. Cook the kernels as part of a dish of succotash or calabacitas, simmer with heavy cream for a rich creamed corn side, or bake into a batch of skillet cornbread or muffins. When grilling corn, soak the ears first for a few minutes so the husks don’t burn over the fire. Be sure to save the leftover cobs as they lend rich corn flavor to soups and sauces — even ice cream.
What’s on the horizon: Green and other beans, along with additional varieties of chiles and peppers, are showing up.
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