Why Does the Rare Silver Queen Corn Have Such a Massive Following?
It is officially Silver Queen corn season and if you know, you know. People swear that this is the best corn on the cob you can get and the fandom for Silver Queen corn is real. Do you see any other corn on the cobs getting their own standalone “Now Picking” announcement posts online?
Jokingly, I like to say I'm old enough to be a bird lady but not old enough to get the hype around Silver Queen corn. Anytime I hit this conversation point with people at picnics, I just sort of slowly back away, lest anyone find out I can't cook, let alone know the greatness of the Silver Queen.
What Is Silver Queen Corn?
Silver Queen corn is a sweet white corn variety that is known for its tenderness and flavor. The ears are long, roughly eight to nine inches, and are ready for harvest later in the season. For the SouthCoast, that means late July.
Curious about why it's so popular, I called John George Farm in Dartmouth after seeing they are officially picking for the season.
Silver Queen Corn Is Not the Most Popular Corn
Right away, the employee told me Silver Queen was, in fact, not the most popular corn – it just has die-hard following that makes it seem that way.
“People who love it will die for it, they absolutely love it. It's just a matter of taste. We have one guy from Rhode Island who calls us every day asking if it’s ready yet," the employee of John George Farm said. "Not every farm grows Silver Queen corn, I believe we are one of the few who do.”
Then What Is the Most Popular Corn?
She went on to say that the most popular corn is actually Butter and Sugar, a white and yellow sweet corn that will grow through October. This corn is most popular because of its taste and gets its name because you don’t need to add butter or sugar to it. It’s fine just the way it is, as long as it's fresh.
As any good farmer would, she let us in on some other corny facts that can make your next corn on the cob shopping experience a bit easier.
Tips for Buying Corn on the Cob
- The sooner off the stock the ear of corn, the less of a chance it becomes starchy. This is why buying from your local farm stand is always best; it was probably just picked a few hours ago.
- If you want juicy corn, you want to buy corn with smaller kernels that basically explode when you bite into them.
- Never open an ear of corn unless you are about to cook it. Farms have to throw out opened ears of corn because they dry out quickly.
- When you are trying to tell if an ear or corn is ready, start at the bottom of the ear and feel your way to the top of the husk. You should be feeling kernels all the way up to the top. This is why hand-picked corn is always just right.
- For every silk (string) on the top of the husk, there is one kernel of corn on the cob.