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Sweet Corn Vs. Baby Corn

Corn is a staple food with so many varieties

Sweet corn, a variety of corn that is grown for its sweet taste can be eaten boiled or roasted.

You may also find sweet corn kernels being used in delicious recipes such a creamed corn and sweet corn salsa.

However, stir fry and some other Asian cuisine are often prepared using small sized corns known as baby corn.

The most obvious difference between sweet corn and baby corn is their sizes; sweet corn is many times larger in size compared to baby corn.

Also, baby corn is usually eaten together with its cob while the cob of sweet corn is not eaten.

This article discusses the differences between these two types of corn.

Difference between sweet corn and baby corn

Variety

Sweet corn is a variety of corn which has higher sugar content and is different from other corn varieties, while baby corn can be picked off either sweet corn or field corn plant varieties

size

Sweet corn and baby corn have an obvious difference in size.

Baby corn is much smaller that sweet corn.

An ear of sweet corn has a size of about six inches while baby corn is about two inches in size on average.

Stage of maturation

Corns have several maturation stages and each of these stages has specific characteristics.

Sweet corn is usually harvested during the milk stages of corn maturation, when the corn kernels are filled with milky fluid.

Baby corn is harvested during the silk stage of corn maturation.

Carbohydrates

Sweet corn is high in carbs.

Baby corn is low in carbs, this makes baby corn attractive for those on a low carb diet

Starch

Sweet corns are not fully developed, so they do not have as much starch as field corn. Baby corn is also low in starch.

Uses

Sweet corn could be eaten on the cob or used to make recipies such as cream corn. Baby corn could be used in a variety of ways, they could be stir fried, boiled or roasted, they are usually eaten whole. The kernels together with the cob

What is sweet corn?

What distinguishes sweet corn from other varieties of corn is their reduced starch content and high sugar content.

Sweet corn is a variety of corn that is known to have a higher sugar content compared to the other varieties of corn, and hence it is sweeter than the other varieties.

Unlike other varieties of corn that have a starchy endosperm, the endosperm of sweet corns are made up mostly of sugars and not starch.

Therefore, sweet corn is sweeter than other varieties of corns that have a starchy endosperm.

Because of the reduced amount of starch in their kernels, sweet corn is also juicy, which makes them good for making creamed corn.

Their kernels are often translucent and they usually do not have a dent on the crown of their kernel as in other varieties of corn

Sweet corn can either be white or yellow in color.

You can find fresh sweet corn, and often in is package and sold in containers.

Sweet corn is usually picked during the milk stage of the corn maturation. At this stage, the corn kernels are filled Milky fluid and are mostly made up of sugars.

As they become mature, some of these sugars could become converted to starch.

Sweet corn is high in carbohydrates, it is also rich in vitamins and several minerals.

What is baby corn?

Baby corn is a type of corn that is harvested at an earlier stage of development, before it matures.

They are picked while the ears of corn are still tiny and their kernels are still undeveloped.

This type of corn is not a specific variety of corn but can be gotten from sweet corns and other field corn varieties.

They are used to make stir fry and to prepare other meals as well. Baby corns are usually eaten whole together with the cob, and they can be very tasty and crunchy to eat.

Baby corn is harvested during the silk stage (emergence stage) a few days after the strands of silk starts to emerge and become visible.

The silks are the long threads that grow on the corn cob and they are important in the pollination and corn kernel formation.

Pollen adhere to these strands and are transported down to the ovules which become corn kernel.

Specific varieties of corn may be selected to produce baby corn. Also, some of the corn earns on the plant may be harvested early as baby corn while the remaining are left to mature.

Baby corn is about 2 inches long which is way smaller than the other corns that you might know of.

These corns are harvested before starch formation, Therefore Baby corn is non starchy.

They is low in calories and high in fibers; It is also rich in vitamin and minerals.

Varieties of corn

For thousands of years, corn have been cultivated and eaten.

They are so versatile and are grown commercially in large quantities to produce several food products including cereals and corn starch.

Corn can be eaten on the cob after grilling it, or its kernels can be used to prepare several interesting recipes.

Varieties of corn can be classified based on the texture of their kernels.

This classification could give rise to varieties such as sweet corn, dent corn, flint corn, flour corn and pop corn.

Other varieties of corn

Dent corn

Dent corn has a high soft starch content, characterized by the depression on the crown of the kernels.

It is used in the production of cornstarch.

Flint corn

Flint corn is known for its hard protective coverings on the corn kernels.

Flour corn

The kernels of flour starch are soft and have a high soft starch content.

They are used to make flour.

Pop corn

These varieties of corn are used to produce the snack popcorn.

They have an endosperm composed mostly of hard starch and some moisture. The pericarp of the kernels of pop corn is tough.

As the corn kernels are heated, the pericarp prevents moisture from evaporating. The popcorn therefore expands and pops.

Waxy corn

Amylase and amylopectin are two forms of starch. Waxy corn has a high amylopectin content.

These types of corns are sticky when cooked

Pod corn

Also known as wild corn. These corns have leaves in each kernel.

Summary

  • Corn is a versatile crop with several varieties
  • Sweet corn is a variety of corn grown for it high sugar content and sweet taste.
  • Baby corn is a type of corn picked from several varieties of corn including sweet corn at an early stage of maturation, the silk stage
  • Sweet corn and baby corn differ greatly in size.
  • Baby corn is eaten whole together with the cob, while only the kernels are eaten in sweet corn.