Tiny vegetables explained


Len Rome's Daily Feature of Little Known Facts

(WYTV)- Ever eat those little ears of corn, you know, the kind that Tom Hanks munches on in “Big?”

Ever wondered how they grow ’em so small? Tiny farmers are tilling tiny cornfields? They truly are just baby ears of regular corn, harvested when they reach 2 to 4 inches in length and about a half inch in diameter.

While United States grows the most corn of any country in the world, it imports almost all of its baby corn from other countries, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and China. Baby carrots, itty bitty squash and micro greens are common today.

Where do those tiny vegetables come from? A veggie sold this way may be a young vegetable or not. It could be a hybrid version of a full-sized vegetable.

An example of a hybrid is baby broccoli, also commonly called “broccolini.” And baby artichokes are grown in the shade, leading to its small size.

Some baby carrots are truly tiny, genetically grown that way but some baby carrots are not babies at all they’re chopped or whittled down from regular-sized carrots.

It’s fairly easy to tell the difference between a carrot that is naturally small and one that is cut: Larger carrots ground down to baby carrot size are labeled “baby-cut,” while carrots that have been harvested in their infancy are labeled “baby carrots.”

Corn is technically a grain and not a vegetable. Like wheat, it is the seed of a type of grass and should be counted as a whole grain for dietary purposes.

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