What does it mean when corn on the cob is sticky?

Last Updated on July 3rd, 2023

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Believe it or not, there is more than one variety of corn and maze. For example, sticky corn on the cob could mean that you are using a Waxy corn variety that comes from China, first grown in 1909; this corn type can be characterized by the sticky texture when cooked. 

Otherwise, your corn might have expired and begun to spoil; when purchasing corn from a store, be sure to check the expiration dates, and using the ingredients while they are fresh will be the best policy to ensure that you will not encounter spoiled produce. 

Does it Mean that the Corn went Bad?

This can be the case and will be so in most situations, besides having a waxy variety of corn plants. As touched on above, knowing expiration dates and using fresh ingredients immediately will be the best way to avoid spoiling produce. 

What happens is that a fungus begins growing within the kennels of the cob. This slimy white fungus will slowly consume the kennels releasing a rancid-smelling bi-product, signally the product is rotting. 

This then means that you should feed this to your compost, then use the resulting dirt to grow the next batch of corn the following year. 


What Makes it Sticky?

Here is a quick recap: a spoiled piece of corn on the cob will become slimy with fungal growth as it consumes the kernels and corn cob. Otherwise, as a different reason for a sticky texture, let us talk about the waxy variety of corn spoken about in the opening paragraph. 

Waxy corn is a variety of maize that differs in Amylopectin percentages, meaning that the normal corn species will have a seventy-five percent Amylopectin and twenty-five percent Amylose ratio. 

Waxy corn will have a hundred percent Amylopectin, which explains the sticker texture when using these types of maize in a recipe. 


Can You Still Eat It?

The Waxy maize will be perfect for those corn-on-the-cob recipes that require coating seasonings or fried breaded foods. Some classic recipes you might recognize would be the Old-Fashioned Creamed Corn and corn-kernel salsas, perfect for dip or nacho toppings. 

Otherwise, the corn you are using is rotten and will be best served to the local compost heap to be made into garden soil. Non-shucked corn contains small hairs, which quickly transport fungi when the cob has been left unused for too long, making them inedible. 


What does Bad Corn Taste Like?

The first thing would be to stomach the rancid smell, and a slimy and mushy texture will accompany this strange moldy, and rotting smell. Whatever you do, do not eat this.

Aside from the fact it will taste like a rotting piece of food, there are health risks to consider and not to mention illness factors. 

Some who have eaten such corn produce have experienced nausea, vomiting, watery discharge, diarrhea, fever, chills, and body aches. Not worth taste testing. It is best to use smell and sight to confirm if the corn on the bob is still edible. 


Will Overcooked Corn Be Sticky?

When you overcook corn on the cob, you will notice that the kernels begin to wither and shrivel. This will add a rougher texture, making it easier to spread butter and other similar toppings to make certain foods.  

However, It will not make the corn stickier, it will be more porous and less juicy. Unless the recipe calls for this, do not dehydrate your corn on the cob, most corn connoisseurs will speak about the juiciness of the kernels from each bite. 

Stickiness will depend on waxy species of corn and fungal growth, signaling the cob is rotting. 


Final Thoughts on What Does it Mean when Corn on the Cob is Sticky

When it comes to the ingredients of corn, you can use the kernels or the cob; both have a certain way in which they are enjoyed. Creamed corn is best on a stick, with a napkin or two, and a helper to eat. 

While the cream of corn soup will be a nice addition to a dish or an addition to a recipe and is best eaten with a utensil, be sure to keep an eye on harvest dates or expiration dates to ensure that you are staying safe from unnecessary food poisoning or trips to the hospital. 

If in a rush, consider a few pegs to hold the cob and using melted butter and a pinch of salt to create a nice side for a steak or main entrée. 


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