In Native American lore, maize (or corn as it is commonly called in the U.S.) was one of the "three sisters." Corn seed, along with beans and squash, were planted and grown together, supporting each other in their life cycle and providing a very balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins and vegetable fats to their cultivators.
Sweet corn is believed to be the result of a natural spontaneous mutation of field corn that occurred sometime before recorded history. Predating the arrival of Europeans in North America, it was cultivated by several Native American tribes. A variety called 'Papoon' was raised by the Iroquois, and subsequently by settlers, by 1779. Sweet corn is now primarily grown for fresh, canned and frozen consumption and not used for flour or feed. Its genetic makeup is such that it accumulates sugars while the kernels are immature.