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How to Choose the Best Sweet Corn

Buying Sweet Corn

The key to picking out good corn isn’t so much a matter of what it looks like, as how long it’s been since it was harvested. The second those ears are pulled off the stalks, sugar in the corn begins to convert to starch. And once the sugar is gone, so is a lot of the flavor and delicate texture.

There are a few physical clues that indicate good corn. Look for silk that’s pale in color, a little sticky, and brown at the very tips. The tops of the ears should feel filled in with kernels developed right to the ends. The nub where the corn was cut off the stalk should be fresh, moist, and free of spots. Old cuts take on a rusty look. Also, try pressing against a kernel with your fingernail. Ripe kernels release a milky juice. An overripe ear is dry and tough.

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