Sweetcorn (otherwise known as Etzkorn or sweet corn, it is also known as sugar corn), is a hybridized variety of maize (Zea mays), specifically bred to increase the sugar content. The fruit of the sweetcorn plant is the corn kernel, a type of fruit called a caryopsis. The ear is a collection of kernels on the cob. The ear is covered by tightly wrapped leaves called the husk. Silk is the name for the styles of the pistillate flowers, which emerge from the husk. The husk and silk are removed by hand, before boiling but not before roasting, in a process called husking or shucking.
Sweetcorn is commonly eaten as a vegetable, rather than a grain. The cobs are picked for relatively rapid distribution (or frozen in this 'soft' state) before the fruits mature into hard grains. The kernels are boiled or steamed and eaten as a side dish, sometimes with butter or salt, and are sometimes used as a pizza topping (particularly in the UK). Corn on the cob is a sweetcorn cob that has been boiled, steamed, or grilled whole; the kernels are then bitten off the cob with the teeth (or cut off the cob with a knife or other contraption; commonly done for toddlers who cannot bit off the corn yet), also commonly served with butter. Creamed corn sometimes refers to sweetcorn kernels that are cut when removing from the cob to free the juices, and other times to a side dish made with corn and milk.
Sweetcorn may also be eaten in its dry grain form. If left to dry on the plant, kernels may be taken off the cob and cooked in oil where unlike popcorn they expand to about double the original kernel size. See Corn nuts. A soup may also be made from the plant, called sweet corn soup. The different varieties for sweetcorn that we carry are Gold Queen, Merit, Silver Queen, Silver King, G-90, and Kandy Korn.