It’s finally here; sweet corn season has officially arrived in South Dakota.
Sweet corn, corn on the cob or candy corn? Call it what you may, but this popular and seasonal delicacy has been a long-standing tradition that dates back to early America as the first record of sweet corn involved the Native American tribe, the Iroquois, giving some to European settlers in 1779. The vegetable’s popularity soon spread throughout the American settlements. Dating beyond that, recent evidence from a prehistoric Indian village site near Mitchell revealed that corn was part of people’s diets over 1,000 years ago.
The vegetable has come a long way since then as advanced sweet corn seed hybrids and biotechnology allow farmers to efficiently produce more corn on less land that is resistant to pests and disease and requires less water and fertilizer. There are hundreds of varieties of sweet corn with new ones popping up each year. But sweet corn still represents only around 1% of the total United States corn crop each year.
Sweet corn not only tastes good but includes many health benefits, including anti-oxidants and ferulic acids that can reduce your risk of heart disease and fight cancer. It is also gluten free, low in calories and a good source of fiber.
The best part of sweet corn season is the sharing between friends, neighbors and relatives as someone’s bountiful harvest or purchase blesses many with sweet smells and smiles from those who indulge.
It’s also fun to try different recipes like:
Though it’s tough to beat the standard salt, pepper and Dimmock Dairy butter!
So boiled, canned, frozen or grilled, make sure you enjoy one of life’s simple pleasures during each and every short-lived South Dakota sweet corn season.