Why is Idaho corn so tender and sweet? Local sweet corn is picked fresh daily and available in most stores the very next day. This is critical as the sugars in corn turn to starch after the ear is picked from the stalk, so buying the freshest corn also means you are getting the sweetest corn on the market. Idaho’s fertile soils, irrigation water, hot, arid climate, and long growing season means you can enjoy sweet corn all summer long into the beginning of fall! Idaho’s major sweet corn producers are located in the Southwestern and South-central regions of the state. Look for Idaho Preferred®sweet corn at your local farmers markets, roadside stands, and grocery stores.
Fun fact about Idaho corn is that 66% of the world’s supply of sweet corn starts with seeds developed in Canyon County Idaho.
How to pick: Fully ripe sweet corn has bright green, moist husks. The silk should be stiff, dark, and moist. You should be able to feel individual kernels by pressing gently against the husk.
How to store: Fresh corn, if possible, should be cooked –or eaten raw –and served the day it’s picked or purchased. From the minute sweet corn is picked, its sugar begins the gradual conversion to starch, which reduces the corn’s natural sweetness. Corn will lose 25% or more of its sugar within 25 hours after harvest. If sweet corn is not being used immediately or was purchased from the supermarket, store in the refrigerator, unhusked, in a bag.