where is the'real 'corn' flavor ...?

vieja_gw(z7NM)July 2, 2014

I can't find any of the new varieties of sweet corn that taste like I remember corn did back on the farm as a youngster. It had a real 'corn' flavor & really 'stuck to your teeth' when eating it off the cob!! This corn sold in the stores now days is too 'sweet' & no real 'corn' flavor left. We may have also eaten field corn while it was young too. Am I the only one who craves the old 'sweet corn flavor'? Any varieties of the seed now that might meet my real 'corn' tasting memory?!

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I crave it too and I'm interested to see the answers to your question. I hate the sweet corn available these days. Corn should not taste like fruit salad.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 5:38PM
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Totally agree. And it's so bizarre that you can't get through a seed catalog without just about every vegetable being described as "sweet". If you ask me the writers need a thesaurus. How about savory, tender, mellow, etc?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 8:46PM
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For those folks that like the old sweet corn that is only a step above field corn. Stowell's Evergreen, Howling Mob, Black Mexican, Country Gentleman, Truckers Favorite. There are other varieties but these are the more readily available. These date back to the19th century.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 8:57PM
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Yes, my grandma always planted 'Country Gentleman' ... that was white sweet corn wasn't it? I have tried buying & planting the seed of 'Trucker's Favorite' ... it was better... but still not what I remember eating. Glad to see others also miss the old sweet corn 'corn' flavor also ... was afraid my memory was playing tricks on me!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 9:41PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

I miss it too! I have tried Country Gentleman and Truckers Favorite. They don't taste the same as what we ate growing up.

We grew acres of corn for cattle feed every year. We ate it while it was still young. We would also freeze and can it. Dad planted the same corn in the garden a few weeks apart to get fresh corn later.

It may have been open pollinated, because he only bought the seed one time in 1960. But the first seed may have been a hybrid? He saved enough to replant every year. He lost the seed when he moved in 1979.

I asked him years later (1980's) if he could remember what it was called and he said he couldn't remember anything except that it was a brand name followed by some numbers.

He didn't like the "new" stuff either! He also didn't like the Country Gentleman or Truckers Favorite.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 12:42PM
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If you remember whether it was yellow or white. You may be able to find a field corn that suits your preference. Reids Yellow Dent and Boone County White were once popular field corns and they are open pollinated. Numbered corn was very likely to have been a hybrid. N-K and Pioneer varieties were popular in 1960, but I don't remember a white. Everone I knew grew yellow field corn.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 2:55PM
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So glad I am not the only one detesting this modern 'super sweet/no corn flavor' sweet corn!
I guess it may well have been field corn we were eating... the garden corn was harvested early while still 'milky' but it sure did stick to one's teeth... so it may have been some of the field corn seed planted
in the garden so it could be watched better & picked while still young. Oh, that corn, slathered in butter & sprinkled with salt.... Mmmm!
Sad, young people now days don't know what they have missed!

Isn't 'Trucker's friend' also used as field corn? What yellow field corn has any one tried & found to be like the 'old days'?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 4:28PM
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conchitaFL(10 Hutchinson Island)

You can add me to the list of overly sweet corn haters, too. I'm just jealous that y'all have enough space to grow your own and get away from it.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 5:24PM
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I'll add this: Frozen yellow corn is better than the fresh sugary sweet corn IMO. Where I live we can't get fresh yellow anywhere, only the fresh white corn is in the stores.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 7:33PM
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One of the standard or normal sweet (SU) varieties in the attached list may be what you remember. Some such as Country Gentleman have already been mentioned, but Early Golden Bantam (the original 8-row strain) and Golden Cross Bantam might be contenders for the old fashioned corn you are looking for, especially if picked a few days past peak sweetness.

Here is a link that might be useful: List of sweetcorn varieties

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 9:39PM
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Great thread! I'm going to give 'Early Golden Bantam' a trial next year. A few years back I trialed 'Early Sunglow' and liked everything about it but the taste. It was remarkably bland. As a result, I haven't planted corn since. This variety gives me new hope.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 4:19PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

"I asked him years later (1980's) if he could remember what it was called and he said he couldn't remember anything except that it was a brand name followed by some numbers."

I'm not normally a fan of hybrids, but one of my all-time favorite sweet corns is the hybrid "NK 199". It is an SU hybrid, not a super sweet. Wide yellow ears with 16-18 rows of kernels, and rich corn flavor. It was really good for canning & freezing too, and was highly productive. Like most older sweet corns, it had a very short harvest window, so you had to watch it closely as it matured.

I grew a white sweet corn that also had true corn flavor, but it's been a lot of years, and all I remember is that it was 'silver' or 'platinum' something... someone told me years back that it had been discontinued.

In recent years, though, I've come to love the SE hybrid "Miracle". It is sweeter than "NK 199", but still has a good balance of flavor & sweetness. It has the same large cobs as "NK 199" & is equally productive, but has better disease resistance.

I too have fond memories of going to a town corn roast with my grandparents, and all they served was field corn picked young. Buttered & salted fresh from the kettle, it was delicious.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 2:16AM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

When I was a youngun, we raised Golden Bantam, Country Gentleman, And Stowell's Evergreen. I don't really want to go back to those corns. I ate one ear of NK199 I had raised...the pits for me...like field corn almost. Miracle isn't bad, but I like some others better.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 10:58AM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

Zeedman, I think that "NK 199" may have been what we grew.

It kinda rings a bell. I remember the burlap bags that we used for various things around the farm and I think that was printed on the bags. I was just a kid so I'm not sure.

Was it around during the 60's?

I have found the seed on-line but not much about the history. The shipping is expensive so I'm going to wait until the feed and seed opens Monday to check with them.

It is probably too late to plant this year, but I'll give it a try if they have seed. I have enough time weather wise, but pest wise is a different story around here!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 11:54AM
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Agree. Some field corn growers did try thier hand at sweet corn in 50's Northrup Kings NK 199 was one. Another was Pioneers G-90.Large ears with flavor similar to the Bantams, best I remember was Bantam Evergreen also sold as Aristogold. It was straight cross betwee Golden Bantam and Stowell's Evergreen. Later Su varieties with big ears and Su flavor are Golden Queen, Seneca Chief, Iochief, Merit, Golden Cross Bantum etc.
Vieja, I get the impression that you don't like white corn. Truckers Favorite also comes in Yellow. It was also grown as a ninety day field corn by folks at higher elevations in the Appalchians.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 12:01PM
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The Fedco seed catalog definitely talks about "real corn flavor" meaning old fashioned and not super sweet. Two I've tried from them have been Kandy Korn (I know it sounds super sweet, but it isn't!) and Silver Queen.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 5:51PM
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Both Kandy Korn and Silver Queen are sweeter than most Su varieties. A giant step up from field corn competitive with everything but SH2 types..

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 8:10PM
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