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Amaize sweet corn completes successful test season

by Press Release | November 09, 2011

After a successful introductory season, Caldwell, ID-based Crookham Co. is looking toward 2012 to expand Amaize, the best-eating sweet corn in the company’s 100-year history.

Touted as “the best corn you will ever eat,” Amaize is a new breed of white sweet corn that has taken 20 years to perfect. It delivers great flavor, pop and crunch that provide an excellent texture and eating quality. Consumers have responded enthusiastically. George Crookham, chief executive officer of the company, knew he had a winner when a farmer told him, “This is what sweet corn should taste like.”

“Amaize exceeded our expectations on every level,” Rick Steigerwald, senior director of manufacturing and produce operations at Lunds and Byerly’s, said in a Nov. 1 press release. “We could not keep up with the demand for this corn -- our customers came looking for it by name. We will be 100 percent Amaize next year during our local season.”

In 1989, Bruce Hobdey and George Crookham noticed a distinctive pop and crunch on a type of corn that did not go mushy when eaten. As breeding partners, they decided to focus on that unique texture and began a long process of bringing that quality to a great-tasting sweet corn. The end result came after 20 years and over 10,000 variations of corn populations, which were created through traditional, natural breeding methods. The corn was not genetically modified.

For consumers, Amaize offers a superb eating quality. It is sweet with a signature pop and crunch, and it has great tip fill and a long shelf life, keeping up to 20 percent longer than similar varieties, according to Crookham Co.

Growers benefit from good emergence and vigor, and with Amaize, the breeder was able to increase both eating quality and seed quality. The plant has good health and an open canopy, along with nice husk protection. It picks well by hand, with the firm texture standing up well with less damage to the ear.

“We are delighted with the success of Amaize in the first season,” Mr. Crookham added in the release. “Eating quality can be elusive in corn. It is hard to isolate and hard to perfect. After so many years of trials, it is a pleasure to have everyone from consumers to retail buyers and growers tell me this is the best corn they have ever tasted.”

The 2012 crop of Amaize will be fully supported by marketing, including robust social and traditional media efforts, promotional events and point-of-sale materials.