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Shoepeg Corn Vs. White Corn

Corn is one of the most important grains worldwide.  

The kernels of corn are consumed as food, and they have been important in producing a wide variety of food products.  

Cultivated for thousands of years, corn has undergone various adaptations resulting in diverse cultivars, each distinguished by unique tastes, sizes, textures, and colors of kernels. 

Among these cultivars, shoepeg corn stands out as a notable variety of sweet corn, particularly in the southern regions of the United States. 

Shoepeg corn is a variety of sweet corn, and while it often has white kernels, it is not the same with other white corn varieties. 

In this post, we learn what distinguishes shoepeg corn from white corn.

What is shoepeg corn?

Shoepeg corn is characterized by its small, narrow kernels tightly packed on the cob. 

It gets its name from the wooden pegs used to secure shoe soles in the 19th century. 

What sets shoepeg corn apart is not only its white or yellow kernels but also the distinctive arrangement of these kernels.  

Unlike traditional corn varieties with straight rows, shoepeg corn displays a unique jagged grouping, creating a visually striking pattern. 

The kernels of shoepeg corn also possess a delightful sweetness with a milky flavor and a pleasing texture.  

Available fresh, canned, or frozen, shoepeg corn is renowned for its versatility.  

It can be incorporated into various dishes such as casseroles, salads, dips, and chili. 

One of the well-known varieties of shoepeg corn is the Country Gentleman Corn, an heirloom introduced in 1891, and it is still widely available in grocery stores. 

The Country Gentleman Corn features small, narrow white kernels irregularly packed in a zigzag pattern, contributing to its distinctiveness. 

What is white corn?

white corn

White corn is a term encompassing various cultivars with white to cream-colored kernels.  

With cylindrical cobs reaching lengths of up to 25 cm, an ear of white corn can contain up to 400 small, oval to oblong-shaped kernels.  

Covered with light green husks, the surface and interior of white corn kernels remain consistently white.  

Ripe white corn kernels are characterized by a high sugar content, rendering them tender and succulent.  

However, as corn ages and sugars transform into starch, the kernels become tougher and chewier. 

The texture and flavor of white corn vary depending on the specific variety.  

Rich in fibers, vitamins, and minerals like iron, copper, and magnesium, white corn is available year-round and offers an addition to a balanced diet.  

Whether roasted, steamed, boiled, or grilled, white corn can be used in various preparations, including salads. 

Difference between shoepeg corn and traditional white corn

White corn is a general term used to describe various cultivars of corn that have white to cream-colored kernels.

Shoepeg corn is characterized by its small, narrow kernels tightly packed on the cob, and it can have either white or yellow kernels. 

Kernel arrangement

The kernels of shoepeg corn are tightly packed into jagged groupings, creating a unique and irregular pattern on the cob.

This distinctive arrangement sets it apart from other white corn varieties. 

On the other hand, traditional white corn varieties typically have kernels arranged in straight rows on the cob, providing a more uniform appearance compared to the jagged grouping seen in shoepeg corn. 

Kernel size and shape

White corn varieties, in general, may have larger, cylindrical kernels that are oval to oblong in shape, while shoepeg corn is characterized by small, narrow kernels, shoepeg corn kernels are tightly packed and can either be white or yellow in color.