Do you look forward to roadside food stands with freshly harvested corn on the cob?

Sweet corn, whether fresh, canned or frozen, is among the most popular vegetables in the U.S.

Sweet corn is a genetic mutation of field corn. That mutation allows sweet corn kernels to store more sugar than field corn.

Sweet corn contains vitamin C, iron and other nutrients. One 6-inch ear of corn has 60 calories, 0.5 grams (g) fat, 2 g protein, 14 g carbohydrate, 1.5 g fiber and 2 milligrams sodium.

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Test your corn knowledge with the questions below:

1. When was the first commercial variety of sweet corn introduced?

  1. 1779

  2. 1800

  3. 1809

  4. 1860

2. How many pounds of sweet corn were consumed per person when consumption peaked in 1996?

  1. 23 pounds

  2. 33 pounds

  3. 40 pounds

  4. 29 pounds

Answers: 1) a. 1779 2) d. 29 pounds

Sweet corn consumption has declined steadily since 1996 and was estimated at 21.3 pounds per person in 2014.

For a change of pace, add chili-lime or Mexican-style spices to sweet corn. Add sweet corn to cornbread, muffins, salad, fritters, dips and soup. Corn often is combined with onions, peppers, tomatoes and beans in fresh salsa recipes.

Corn may be frozen easily at home, but for best quality, follow research-tested advice. See North Dakota State University Extension Service publication “Freezing Vegetables” (FN187) at https://bit.ly/3ppG39p for corn-freezing guidance.

If you decide to can corn, remember it is a low-acid vegetable and needs to be processed in a pressure canner to ensure that harmful microorganisms are destroyed. See NDSU Extension publication “Home Canning Low-acid Vegetables” (FN173) at https://bit.ly/2YYRXvG for information about canning corn. Also, be sure to get your pressure canner gauge tested for accuracy. This can be done for free at the NDSU Extension office in Stutsman County.

Sweet corn is one of the specialty crops that can be grown in North Dakota. Visit NDSU Extension’s Field to Fork website at www.ag.ndsu.edu/fieldtofork for more information about growing and using a variety of specialty crops, including corn.

For more information on this topic, or to schedule an appointment to get your pressure gauge tested, you can contact the Stutsman County Extension office at (701) 252-9030. Christina Rittenbach, NDSU Extension agent, can also be reached at christina.rittenbach@ndsu.edu.