Cornmeal is flour ground from dried maize or American corn. It is a common staple food, and is ground to fine, medium, and coarse consistencies. In the United States, the finely ground cornmeal is also referred to as cornflour. However, the word cornflour denotes cornstarch in recipes from the United Kingdom.
Steel ground yellow cornmeal, common mostly in the United States, has the husk and germ of the maize kernel almost completely removed. It is conserved almost indefinitely if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Stone ground cornmeal retains some of the hull and germ, lending a little more flavor and nutrition to recipes. It is more perishable, but will store longer if refrigerated. However it too can have a fairly long shelf life of many months if kept in a reasonably cool place. It can also be used for cornmeal cakes.
White cornmeal (mielie-meal) is more traditional in Africa. It is also popular in the Southern United States for making cornbread.
Blue corn meal is cornmeal with a light blue or violet color that is ground from whole blue corn and has a sweet flavor. The corn meal is dried corn kernels that have been ground into a fine, medium texture.
Blue corn has significant spiritual importance for Native Americans in the southwest. According to the Navajo people, blue corn meal is a traditional healing food that has strong ties to the Navajo Culture. Blue corn meal in evidence, is ground into a fine coarse substance, and mixed with cedar ash. It is important to mix these two main ingredients of this dish.
- Nshima or Bwali and Nsima, Zambia and Malawi respectively
- Nomadi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Sadza, Zimbabwe
- Poudine Maïs, Mauritius
- Sorr,in Somalia
- Ugali, East Africa (aka. Sima, and Posho in Uganda)
- Mielie-meal or mealie pap, southern Africa
- Recipes that may utilize cornmeal as an additional ingredient are Fufu (aka. foufou) in Central and West Africa, and Injera in Ethiopia, Somalia and Lahoh in Eritrea.
- G'omi, Tchvishtari, Mchadi (Georgian: ღომი), Georgia- G'omi is similar to polenta, Tshvishtari- cheese cornbread, Mtchadi-cornbread
- Kachamak (Bulgarian and Serbian: качамак), Bulgaria and Serbia
- Mălai, Romania
- Farina di granturco, Italy (not the same as farina which is made from wheat.)
- Polenta, southern Europe - especially Italy
- Arapash or Harapash, Albania - similar to the Romanian style but often combined with lamb organs, or/and feta cheese (like the Greek feta)
- Makki di roti, A traditional Punjabi bread often eaten with Saag in India and Pakistan
Meso- and South America
- Masa, used for making tortillas, arepas and tamales in Mexico, Central America, and South America
- Fubá, Brazil
- Polenta, a typical dish in many south american countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay, Venezuela and Uruguay
- Cou-Cou, is part of the National dish of Barbados which goes by the name "Cou-Cou and Flying fish."
- Funchi, a cornmeal mush cooked and cooled into a stiff pudding, sometimes eaten with saltfish and/or pepperpot, consumed on the island of Curaçao and part of the National Dish of Antigua and Barbuda.
- Made into bread, as in cornbread, spoonbread, jonnycake, hushpuppies, or corn fritters
- As a porridge, such as cornmeal mush, which is often then sliced and grilled
- Cheese curl-type snack foods, such as Cheezies and Cheetos
- In corn chips such as Fritos, but not corn tortillas or tortilla chips, which are made from nixtamalized maize flour
- As breading for fried or baked food such as fried fish
- As a batter for a fried food such as corndogs
- As a release agent to prevent breads and pizza from sticking to their pans when baking
- As a breakfast cereal ingredient
There are occasional mentions of the use of cornmeal as a pesticide or as a dermatological antifungal. Most such mentions appear apocryphal and lacking in authoritative sources.
- ^ a b Herbst, Sharon, Food Lover's Companion, Third Edition, Pg. 165, Barrons Educational Series Inc, 2001
- ^ Kilbride, Philip; Goodale, Jane; Ameisen, Elizabeth, eds (1990). Encounters With American Ethnic Cultures. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama. p. 82. ISBN 0-8173-0471-1. http://books.google.com/books?id=kGMTH77C6RwC. Retrieved July 24, 2010. "All my African-American informants told me they preferred white to yellow cornmeal because it looks and tastes better...."
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