Sweetcorn have sweet, yellow kernels attached to a main core, which is covered by a green husk. The kernels can be eaten on the cob or removed before serving.
Fresh sweetcorn has a fairly short season, being available from August-September each year. However it’s also available tinned or frozen so we can enjoy it all year round.
If the corn on the cob is still in its green husk, check that they look green and fresh, and not brown or withered. The sweetcorn kernels themselves should look yellow and plump and not dry or shrivelled.
Sweetcorn is easy and quick to cook. First, remove the husks and pull off any white, silky threads that remain attached to the corn. Give the cobs a quick rinse under running water, and then boil in unsalted water for 6-7 minutes, until the kernels are tender. Adding salt to the cooking water will toughen the kernels so always add salt, if required, after serving. If using sweetcorn in salads or other dishes, remove the kernels first, by standing the corn vertically on a chopping board and slicing down the sides with a sharp knife. The kernels should fall from the core easily.
Once picked, sweetcorn loses its freshness very quickly so it’s best enjoyed as soon as possible after purchase. Over time, its natural sugars turn to starch so that the corn won’t taste as sweet. If you’re not using the corn straight away, store in the fridge for a couple of days.