Corn | CUESA

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Native to the Americas, corn is thought to have originated in either Mexico or Central America. Corn has played and still continues to play a vital role in the livelihood of many native cultures. It has been utilized for not only sustenance but shelter, fuel and more. Corn is known scientifically as Zea mays. This reflects corn’s traditional name, maize, by which it is known throughout many areas of the world.

In addition to the yellow and white sweet varieties, there are many kinds of flour corn, including red, blue, pink and black. Buy sweet corn that has been stored in a cool or shaded place; heat and/or direct sunlight rapidly converts the sugars in the kernels to starch. Look for corn with fresh, green husks. They should envelope the ear and not fit too loosely around it. Examine the kernels, pulling back part of the husk; they should be plump and tightly arranged in rows. Store corn in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, but don’t remove its husk since this will protect its flavor.

Fresh corn has a fairly short season in the Bay Area. To freeze the cob or kernels to use later in the year, blanch for about five minutes first. For broiling or barbequing, leave the husk on the corn, but soak the husk in water first to protect from burning.

In Season

June, July, August, September, October

Articles about Corn

April 23, 2021

Bolita Brings Home the Art of Fresh Masa and Tortillas

The pandemic became an opportunity for Emmanuel Galvan to dive into a beloved food close to his heart and heritage: tortillas.

June 14, 2012

Watching the Sweet Corn Grow

Just in time for summer grilling season, Brentwood sweet corn from G & S Farms returns to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market this week.

September 12, 2008

From the Gardens of Native America

Author Patricia Klindienst discusses the “three sisters” gardening technique, or the tradition of planting squash, beans and corn as companion crops in a single bed.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »