Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Aug 20, 2011 10:45 AM

How to get fresh corn that tastes more like corn than young HFS ?

At my local farmers' markets there seems to be a race for the sweetest corn at the expense of flavor. At this point the ears are sweeter and as satisfying as Frosted Flakes. Does anyone know who sells corn varieties that emphasize flavor? What are the names of these varieties? Am I the only one who thinks this way about corn?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. No, Wew, you are NOT the only one. I asked this exact question a couple of years ago on the Quebec board (IIRC) and I never did manage to find any corn that tasted of what corn used to taste like (and jeebus, I'm 30, it's not like I'm hearkening back to the good ol' days of the depression or something). Corn used to be a deep yellow and taste of...corn. Now it tastes of sugar, sugar and more sugar. I would do almost anything to locate a type that still tasted of corn.

    Can't wait to hear if anyone has any ideas on this...

    1. I've noticed this as well, and you're certainly not alone. But unless you know the type of corn and how it's designated botanically, you won't know the flavor profile. When you buy seeds, they usually have a designation next to the name, like SE (sugary enhanced) or SH2 (Super Sweet) or the like, if I'm recalling correctly. (Have to look this up.) Each has a different level of sweetness.

      Problem is, there are dozens (hundreds?) of varieties grown commercially and you'd probably have to carry a notebook with you ever time you went shopping... assuming the seller actually listed the correct variety at every market.

      Here's a list of types. If you can find the variety at the markets, try to stick to the "su" types.

      Of course the risk you run here is that these older varieties tend to turn starchy very quickly and result in corn that is about as much fun as eating a raw potato...

      1 Reply
      1. re: acgold7

        Thanks for the info and link. I will check it out. At this point, all I know is that the corn I ate as a child (in western Canada) was yellow and, compared to today's corn, a lot less sweet. It wasn't specially sought out by my parent's, it was just what was at the grocery store during corn season, so I doubt it was an obscure variety, it was probably the most common one at the time. I *do* remember that it would get starchy very fast, as mentioned. (the starchiness did not stop me gobbling it)

        It's corn season right now, no? I might hit the Jean Talon Market here and see if I can find any less sweet varieties.

      2. I think I'm an exception as I love super sweet corn. Sweet, salt, butter.. I love it. That said, the OP might want to try to find Mirai corn. Very corny, not so sweet.

          1. If I could get bottled HFCS, I would.

            But, no, I don't ever get the sensation that fresh corn tastes like sugar, or HFCS.