It is not the same.
In childhood, out of the corn on the cob season there was tinned sweetcorn, typically then imported from the US (Green Giant being a brand I recall from childhood). I liked the general taste but not the sweetness, the main differentiator between the tinned stuff and the real thing that had leaves and threads that needed removing before being cooked. Yet today, tinned or on the cob, the taste is the same - far, far to sweet for my taste.
Supermarkets currently offer no choice other than supersweet varieties, known to growers by names such as Kandy Korn, Crisp'N'Sweet, Krispy King - you get the picture. I'm not tempted by these items, shrink-wrapped on polystyrene trays at all. The supersweet varieties have four to ten times the sugar content of normal sweetcorn varieties, which themselves are sweeter than 'field corn' today used for animal feed or as a base for processed foods, which once upon a time was happily consumed by us humans.
Shortly after moving to Poland, I worked for a while by Hala Banacha in southern Ochota. There was an elderly peasant lady selling field corn outside the building. Sat on a small stool, she'd display a dozen or so ears of corn, and sell them for prices much lower than supermarket supersweet varieties. She said that her corn needed to be soaked overnight, and boiled for at least 20 minutes before it was ready to eat. This I bought from time to time during the autumn of 1997, and it gave me huge delight. It took me right back to childhood in terms of the taste. The kernels were large, crunchy and flavoursome. The corn was not sweet, so it did not need tons of salt to hide the sweetness. The butter could ooze between the kernels, which were not as tightly packed as on supersweet cobs. Corn heaven. Sadly, it would not last long.
By 1998, I'd moved offices away from Hala Banacha. By 2002, when I started to work near Hala Mirowska, there were no more old ladies selling corn on the cob on the pavement outside. Supermarket prices of sweetcorn had fallen, and there were bigger margins to be made on mushrooms or cut flowers. So the produce I bought outside Hala Banacha was the very last time I thoroughly enjoyed eating corn on the cob.
|This is what I want to eat - old-style corn on the cob. Pic from Wikipedia.|
I am surprised at the diversity of other vegetables. Looking at mainstream supermarkets such as Auchan, the number of different types - and colours - of tomatoes - is dazzling. And available in organic versions too. [The Polish ones are tastiest, beating the imported stuff from Holland and Spain that merely looks like tomato.]
So if retailers can bring to market diverse varieties of tomatoes, apples or potatoes - why not corn on the cob? Leave the supersweet as the white sliced loaf of corn, and introduce different varieties - yes, they may take longer to cook, but what a difference in taste.
|Sugar-enhanced Supersweet? No thanks - not in the least bit interested in buying or eating this. Pic from Wikipedia|
Bring back the old varieties, I say, give the consumer choice when it comes to corn on the cob.
This time last year:
This time two years ago:
S2/S79 opens partially (not yet reaching Puławska)
This time seven years ago:
Recycling time rolls round again