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The History of Maryland’s Silver Queen Corn

The history of Maryland’s famous Silver Queen sweet corn is truly the story of America itself!

America was built on the principles of democracy – we scorned and rejected England’s monarchy and vowed to never let one power reign supreme unchecked. But in the realm of sweet corn in Maryland, one lady had ultimate power for 20 years, a respectable dynasty by most first world standards. The Silver Queen Corn in Maryland finally fell to the power of the people and the spirit of capitalistic competition in the most recent decade. According to the State Department of Agriculture, Silver Queen sweet corn has fallen to more popular strains, such as Argent and White Magic, and the Silver Queen must rest on her laurels, gracefully defeated.

Why Silver Queen?

For over 20 years, Silver Queen was the big name in corn production here in Maryland. With an especially long season, from June to early October, it’s been the strongest corn crop and the longest available harvest. Crab feasts are almost always accompanied by Silver Queen corn, or at least they were before farmers on the Eastern Shore started growing other varieties. Places like the Eastern Shore adhere heavily to their traditions – black-eyed Susans, Maryland blue crabs, rockfish, and sweet, pearly Silver Queen, with its glorious 8-9” long ears, planting adaptability, and short harvest time of 92 days. Marylanders grew attached to not only the tender, silky taste, but the comfort of the name. Silver Queen corn is what your parents brought home, what you bought from vendors on the side of the road, what you grilled with your friends on the weekend.


Stepping Out of The Way

As agricultural techniques have advanced, we’ve begun to lean less on our old standby, Silver Queen corn. We’ve made way for its descendants – Argent, White Magic, 81W. These strains have come to be considered sweeter, stronger, and more resilient strains. Silver Queen is hardly ever grown anymore, although imposters are still touted as they attract the stubborn, loyal subjects of Her Majesty, which was first introduced in 1955. However, new varietals of sweet corn convert less starch to sugar, and retain their sweetness for longer if kept in the husk, sometimes up to four weeks longer. Silver Queen, like all great empires, must fall and bow at the feet of a new generation of stronger, more adaptable rulers.

Find Delicious Maryland Silver Queen Sweet Corn at Hearn Kirkwood!

Hearn Kirkwood is a private Food Service Distributor that specializes in produce, meat, poultry, dairy, and fresh seafood in the Baltimore, Washington, and Virginia area. We have been servicing our valued customers for over 70 years, and we are dedicated to providing all of our customers with the freshest and tastiest products available at competitive prices (and delivered with unparalleled customer service). For more information, give us a call (410) 712-6000 or visit us online.