Sweet corn falls into three categories:
Traditional—5 percent to 10 percent sugar.
Sugar-enhanced—creamy texture and medium sweetness.
Super-sweet—crisp texture, 25 percent sugar.
Each sweetness level comes in yellow, white or bicolor varieties.
Choose ears with a fresh green color and tender silks. Gently press through the husk to check that the husk is filled out and the kernels are plump. Though it’s tempting, don’t open every ear. Kernels dry and toughen then exposed to air.
Sweet corn is at its best within a day of picking. Lacking a personal corn patch or a nearby farmers market, you can store the sweeter varieties up to a week in the refrigerator. Wrap moist paper towels around the ears (still in their husks), seal them in a plastic bag and refrigerate.
To remove the raw kernels for freezing or to use in recipes, hold the narrow end of the ear and anchor the wide end in a bowl or cake pan, to catch the kernels. Keep the pan from sliding around the counter by placing it on a damp towel. Cut straight down with a sharp knife, turning the cob as you go.
Sweet corn is one of the easiest vegetables to freeze. The day the corn is picked, bring a large kettle of water to boiling. Remove husks and silk from the ears. Blanch the corn by plunging it into boiling water, preferable in a removable basket. When the water returns to boiling, cook the corn for 1 to 3 minutes (larger ears will require 3 minutes to blanch). Immediately plunge the corn into a large pot of ice water to stop the cooking process. Cut corn from the cob before freezing and place it in plastic freezer bags. If you freeze whole ears, the kernels will be tough after thawing and cooking.