There is more than one kind of corn out there.
Here are some varieties and their uses, according to the National Corn Growers Assn.:
Dent corn: The majority of the corn grown in the United States is dent. Its uses include animal feed and ethanol.
Popcorn: Its hard shell pops when heated.
Specific-trait corn: Includes blue corn, nutritionally dense corn and high-oil corn.
Decorative corn: Indian corn often is sold in the fall for use in table arrangements.
Sweet corn: Corn on the cob, canned and frozen corn and other edible corn.
Buying, storing and cooking
Here are some tips from "Corn," by Olwen Woodier (Storey, $12.95).
When purchasing corn on the cob, look for tight, bright green husks that have been kept cool. The stem should be fresh and moist, not yellowed and dry.
The kernels at the top should be plump, medium-size, close together and shiny.
Store unshucked corn in the refrigerator, wrapped in damp paper towels and enclosed in a plastic bag. If corn is kept at room temperature, the sugar quickly turns to starch. Refrigerated, unshucked corn will stay fresh and crisp for two to three days.
Many of today's corn varieties are so sweet, they can be eaten raw. For cooking, drop ears of corn into a large pot of boiling water and cook only 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.