Sweet corn cobs are long (20-25cm) and cylindrical in shape. The cobs are enclosed within paper-thin, leaf-like husks. Inside the husks are parallel rows of golden-yellow, small bead-like seeds with soft cotton-like threads (or silks) running from the seeds to the top of the cob. The kernels with their soft skins are sweet and milky inside.

Corn originated in the USA. Throughout Europe, corn has always been the generic name for any of the cereal grains Europeans call corn maize, a derivative of the early American Indian word mahiz. Everything on the corn plant can be used: the husks for tamales (natural food wrappings), the silk for medicinal tea, the kernels for food and the stalks for fodder. Corn is not only a popular food, but the foundation of many by-products including bourbon, cornflour, cornmeal, corn oil, cornstarch, corn syrup and laundry starch. There are 2 main types, yellow and white. Yellow corn has larger, fuller-flavoured kernels white corn kernels are smaller and sweeter. The hybrid Butter & Sugar corn produces ears of yellow and white kernels. As soon as they are picked, the sugars in sweetcorn immediately begin their gradual conversion into starch which, in turn, lessens the natural sweetness.

CORN ON THE COB are classed as a vegetable.


Sweetcorn is very versatile. Boil, steam, grill, roast or even barbecue. Use in soups, salads, stews, pancakes and fritters or serve as a vegetable accompaniment.

Nutritional Information

Typical values per 100g (kernels only): energy 90 kcal, 390 kJ protein 3.0g carbohydrate 16.0g fat 2.0g.


Remove the husk and silky threads. Wash thoroughly under cold running water and dry before use. If boiling, add salt towards the end of cooking as it will toughen the corn.


Should be eaten straight away for the best flavour, but can be stored in a refrigerator, in the salad compartment, for up to 3 days.


Good quality corn should have fresh green husks. The core should be evenly covered with plump, consistently sized, golden-yellow kernels. Avoid corn with discoloured or dry-looking kernels.

Fun Fact

The multicoloured Indian corn - used today mainly for decoration -has red, blue, brown and purple kernels.


Shown below is where this item grows in the world and where it may come from when you buy it at your supermarket or local shop.