I’m always a sucker for a new pack of seeds, particularly anything edible, so when Suttons Seeds suggested I try their ‘Sweet Corn Shoots’ I didn’t need asking twice.
New this season, they are billed as “a totally new flavour experience” and it’s a claim that seems justified.
Unsurprisingly, the seed resembles ordinary sweetcorn seed, a dessicated version of the corn you get from a can. However, growing them is completely different to the outdoor variety.
These need a dark, warm place to germinate – a cupboard is ideal and I used the bottom of the airing cupboard. Spread them evenly over seed compost, making sure the seeds don’t touch, which is easy given their size. Cover and leave to shoot.
Germination is speedy; I sowed and had harvestable shoots a week later.
At first glance, the crop is not particularly appealing: long, yellow shoots that resemble a beansprout. However, the taste is far from ordinary. Suttons describe them as a beansprout flavour but I thought it was more like pea shoots, those bits of a pea plant made fashionable by chefs. What I did agree with was the sweetness, which lingers in the mouth.
They need eating freshly harvested and, given the need to grow in a cupboard, I can’t imagine producing enough to make a meal out of them. However, as an addition to a salad or possibly a stir fry they are ideal. They can also be grown year-round.
‘Sweet Corn Shoots’ would also be ideal for young growers: the seeds are easy to handle; cultivation is quick and easy with no need for fancy equipment; the taste would be a winner.
• ‘Sweet Corn Shoots’ are £2.99 for a packet of 200 seeds, available from Suttons Seeds Suttons Seeds