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Cornmeal

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Title: Cornmeal  
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Subject: Johnnycake, Polenta, Cornbread, Kačamak, Pinolillo
Collection: Cuisine of the Southern United States, Flour, Halloween Food, Maize Products
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Cornmeal

Cornmeal

Cornmeal is a meal (coarse flour) ground from dried maize (corn). It is a common staple food, and is ground to fine, medium, and coarse consistencies, but not as fine as wheat flour.[1] In the United States, very finely ground cornmeal is also referred to as corn flour.[1] In the United Kingdom, the word cornflour denotes cornstarch, cornmeal is known as polenta, and finely ground corn flour (for making bread or tortillas) is known as maize flour.

Contents

  • Types 1
  • Regional usage 2
    • Caribbean 2.1
    • East Asia 2.2
    • Equatorial Africa 2.3
    • Europe 2.4
    • Horn of Africa 2.5
    • Indian Ocean 2.6
    • Mesoamerica and South America 2.7
    • North America 2.8
    • South Asia 2.9
  • See also 3
  • References 4

Types

There are various types of cornmeal:

  • Blue cornmeal is light blue or violet in color. It is ground from whole blue corn and has a sweet flavor. The cornmeal consists of dried corn kernels that have been ground into a fine or medium texture.[2]
  • Steel-ground yellow cornmeal, which is common mostly in the United States, has the husk and germ of the maize kernel almost completely removed. It is conserved for about a year if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.[3]
  • 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 shelf life of many months if kept in a reasonably cool place.[2]

Regional usage

Caribbean

  • Cou-cou - part of the national dish of Barbados, "cou-cou and flying fish".
  • Funchi also known as fungi/fungee - a cornmeal mush cooked and cooled into a stiff pudding, sometimes eaten with saltfish and/or pepperpot. It is consumed on the island of Curaçao and is part of the national dish of Antigua and Barbuda.

East Asia

  • Tie Bing (貼餅 sticking bread) - This product can either be fluffy like a mantou or more flatbread-like. It is traditionally stuck around the outer rim of a large wok while meat or fish is being cooked. Generally, an alkalizing agent such as baking soda is added to increase the nutrient value. It is also found in northern China.
  • Corn congee (棒子麵粥) - A porridge made from plain cornmeal. It is normally thinner than grits or polenta and is often eaten with Chinese pickles.
  • Wo tou (窩頭 nest head) - Shaped like a hollow cone, this cornbread looks like a bird's nest, after which it is named. It is commonly eaten in northern China, and may contain dried jujubes and other flavoring agents.

Equatorial Africa

Southern Africa's Nshima cornmeal (top right corner), served with three relishes.

Europe

  • Arapash or harapash - Albania (similar to the Romanian style but often combined with lamb organs, or/and goat cheese)
  • Farina di granturco - Italy (not the same as farina, which is made from wheat)
  • G'omi ( mchadi - cornbread, tshvishtari - cheese cornbread). Known by different names in local languages (Abkhaz: абысҭа abysta, Adyghe: мамрыс mamrys, Ingush: журан-худар juran-hudar, Nogai: мамырза mamyrza, Ossetian: дзыкка dzykka or сера sera), it is also widespread in other Caucasian cuisines.
  • Kachamak (качамак) - Macedonia, Bulgaria and Serbia
  • Mălai - Romania (the cornmeal itself; prepared as mămăligă)
  • Polenta - southern Europe, especially Italy

Horn of Africa

Indian Ocean

Mesoamerica and South America

Grindstones inside Mingus Mill, in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Corn is placed in a hopper (top right) which slowly feeds it into the grindstone (center). The grindstone grinds the corn into cornmeal, and empties it into a bucket (lower left). The grindstones are turned by the mill's water-powered turbine.

North America

A corn muffin.

South Asia

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Herbst, Sharon, Food Lover's Companion, Third Edition, Pg. 165, Barrons Educational Series Inc, 2001
  2. ^ a b c Kilbride, Philip; Goodale, Jane; Ameisen, Elizabeth, eds. (1990). Encounters With American Ethnic Cultures. Tuscaloosa, Alabama:  
  3. ^ "Section II: Food Commodity Fact Sheets". Commodities Reference Guide (USAID). 
  4. ^ a b Blazes, Marian. "Masarepa - - Precooked Corn Flour for Making Arepas". About Food. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
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