Release | Ayumi Ohmiya
The latest information about Hokkaido sweet corn, which varieties would you want?
▲Harvesting corns start from the dawn. Shikama Farm’s large corn farm in Naganuma Town.
During the best season, corns will be displayed as the primary product at the farm stand in the neighborhood.
▲You can buy corns at an affordable price at the farm stand in Michi no Eki Maoi-no-oka Koen in mid-August. The photo was taken on 15th August 205.
How to choose? Learn the varieties of cornsDo you notice that information about varieties of the corns written with the products at the supermarkets? Megumi, Mirai, Gold Rush, Pure White… I am sure many people can not decide which variety to buy. So in this article, I will introduce some unique and popular varieties. Why don’t you choose corns by variety regarding color, sweetness, size, and solidity of each piece?
▲There are over 100 kinds of corns. It is fun to eat different kinds and see the difference.
Most of the corns eaten in Japan is called “sweet corn” which is a general term to describe those kinds with the strong sweetness. By the way, there are over 100 kinds that are classified as sweet corn, and the mainstream is those of the kinds called “super sweet” which have stronger sweetness than normal sweet kind. Sweet corn kinds are divided into three major kinds. The ones with gold pieces are “gold series”, white pieces are “silver series”, and those with different colored pieces, for instance, yellow and white are called “bicolor series”.
First of all, let’s take a look at the most standard gold series.
Each piece is big and juicy. A unique characteristic is that its skin of pieces is very soft. Gold Rush is the kind to taste the corn itself strongly and the best seller kind.
The bright lemon yellow pieces are so dense. The pieces itself is rather big. It has a strong sweetness and said it preserves freshness for a long time.
This kind has strong sweetness; its average sugar content is over 12 degrees (by the way, the sugar content of sweet melon is around 14 degrees) . The size of ears is small so best for sending as a gift.
The kind has fruity sweetness. The skin of pieces is very soft and has a good balance of texture and taste. You can also enjoy its size.
Picnic Corn is usually only 12 - 15 centimeters, and rather a small kind. This is the kind bred for people who live in the cities and do not have huge pots. It is the family of “Mirai”, so the most distinct characteristics is its high sugar content. The sweetness stands out when it’s eaten cold after being boiled.
▲“Amaindesu” has fruity sweetness.
Next. let’s take a look at silver series.
The kind became famous for the all white color. Adding to the whiteness, outclassed sweetness which is said to be same as fruits or more than fruits (sugar content is around 19 degrees) got into the news. The production is not easy and has risks, so the amount of production was very limited, and the kind was once very rare. The number of farmers is increasing nowadays.
Loicy Corn has a high sugar content just like Pure White. The white pieces have soft skin and very juicy. The secret of its popularity is the milky taste. The kind has big ears which make the visual attractive.
▲Beautiful white pieces to the top, sweet and juicy “Loicy Corn”. Getting popular with the milky taste.
Lastly, let’s see the bicolor kinds.
People talked about Yumeno Corn as a tasty kind even if it’s eaten raw. The softness of the skins of pieces decides whether if it can be eaten raw or not. Which means, if the kind can be eaten raw, the skin is very soft. Another secret of its popularity is that it keeps the softness of the skins and sweetness fresh for a long time.
The kind has high sugar content and big size. The unique characteristic is its big pieces. This kind also has soft skins so can be eaten raw.
▲The bicolor kind “Marukajiri” with yellow and white pieces. It has high sugar content, and son skins so can be eaten raw, but I would recommend eating corns boiled.
How to keep the freshness of corns and how to boil corns without losing tastesHow was it? I chose the above kinds from numbers of varieties because I see them often at farm stands. There are various kinds grow in Hokkaido other than the kinds I introduced, so ask the staff about characteristics of each kind if you have a chance to stop by farm stands. This is what’s good at person-to-person selling.
If you are ready to choose your favorite kind, learn how to eat deliciously and how to keep corns fresh. “Go to the farm after your water has boiled” is a saying passed from our grandparents. It means that the taste of corns deteriorate as soon as it’s taken from the farm, so the saying teaches us that we have to eat as quickly as possible while it’s fresh. Different from the past, breeding is developed, and deterioration is getting slower, but it is for sure that corns are one of the vegetables that taste change distinctly. If you are not going to eat soon, put in a plastic bag with outside skins on to avoid getting dry, and put into the refrigerator vertically.
The basic of boiling is like this. Put corns with water into a pot and put on the fire. The water starts to boil, take out the corn after three to four minutes. Prepare salted water (about 3% salt). Put the boiled corns into the salted water. By doing this, sweetness won’t get away into the hot water and avoid pieces get wrinkled. Try this at home! It seems like you can enjoy the most delicious corns ever! Eat lots of delicious Hokkaido corns!
▲It is about time to harvest when ears get darker. Did you know that the number of ears is same as the number of pieces?
▲Corns are just going to be harvested. We have cold summer in Hokkaido, but they are growing fine. Harvesting crops grown outdoors has started as well!
Text / Hokkaido Likers Writer, Vegetable Sommelier Ayumi Ohmiya
Cooperation to photo / Agricultural Producers’ Cooperative Corporation Shikama Farm
Provided photo / Agricultural Producers’ Cooperative Corporation Shikama Farm, Watanabe Noji co,. Ltd.