Strawberry Popcorn – Zea Mays
This is an open pollenated corn that grows about 1.5 metres high and produces bright red almost translucent kernels on a small cob that is about 10-15cm long. Usually there is only one cob on each stem but they will often produce up to 2-3 if they are growing well. I find giving them a long hot growing season in the ground with plenty of water in full sun will really push them to produce the best – but I have also grown them in large pots in a cold climate and they will still produce some cobs.
They can be picked like most corn when the ‘hairy’ tips start to dry off – at that stage the cobs will still colour up from the unripe state to an orange/red.
But they are best for the full red colour when they are fully dried on the stem and the husk has fully desiccated. The kernels are actually a translucent red at that stage.
The taste when popped is excellent and they retain a small red kernel remnant (that is usually not too hard) which makes them very attractive.
The best way to use them is to pop them while still on the small cob and with the husks used to hold them.