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A sweet summer with fresh corn now in store

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You can’t call it summer until you’ve eaten your first cob of sweet corn. Kiwis’ favourite summer veg, is hitting the supermarkets from today.

LeaderBrand, the country’s largest producer of sweet corn, has started to hand-pick their first harvest and say that the fantastic weather over the last 30 days means that they’ve been able to pick a week early.

“Sun is extremely important for corn and we’re lucky that comes in abundance here in Gisborne with long days of high temperatures its perfect to create creamy corn packed full of sweetness,” says LeaderBrand head of farming Gordon McPhail.

Kiwis love sweet corn, so much so it knocks strawberries off the number one place for fresh produce every year. We just can’t get enough of the yellow kernels.

“We pride ourselves on our corn grown here in Gizzy. It’s our aim to grow beautiful green husks packed full of fat, sweet, yellow kernels. We harvest by hand so we’re able to check in the field when the cobs ready to eat.

“We’re also hand selecting cobs for maturity, quality and to reduce damage in the field.

“As soon as it leaves the field we chill it immediately which locks in the freshness. Then we make sure that it's in your local supermarket the day after it leaves our fields, chilled the whole way to make sure you’re getting the freshest corn in the market,” says Gordon.

“A great tip for checking the freshness of the cob is to look for a tight green husk and to feel the tip of the cob. There should be a kernel at the tip or look for a cob that is rounder and fatter at the ends. If you pull back the husk in the store you’ll dry out the cob quicker. You wouldn’t pull the skin off a banana to check if it’s fresh; it’s the same with sweet corn.”

Sweet corn is packed full of antioxidants and great for healthy vision. It's also a great source of fibre, rich in folic acid and vitamin C. Plus kids love eating it.

“Sweet corn makes quick, easy and tasty side dishes for summer. Whether you throw it on the BBQ or boil it, it always tastes good. Fresh corn tastes best, so make sure you eat it the day you buy it. However, if you need to store the cobs, you’re best to keep it in the husk in the fridge,” says Gordon.

“Another great tip is to cut off the kernels when it's fresh and freeze them for another day.”

Part of sweets corn charm is its versatility, whether you eat it plain or covered in butter with a good pinch of salt and pepper, or add it to fritters, muffins, chowders, or in any Mexican dish, it always tastes good.

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