AskDefine | Define cornmeal

Dictionary Definition

cornmeal n : coarsely ground corn [syn: Indian meal]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

From corn + meal

Pronunciation

Noun

  1. Dried corn (maize) milled (ground) to a coarse meal.
    She made a kind of polenta from cornmeal and chicken broth, with some cheese sprinkled on top.

Extensive Definition

Cornmeal is flour ground from dried corn, and is a common staple food. Cornmeal is different from cornflour. The latter is ground to a fine chalky white powder and is a valuable thickening agent in sauces.

Types

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.
White cornmeal (mealie meal) is more traditional in Africa. It is also popular in the Southern United States for making cornbread. Blue cornmeal is made from the rarer blue corn or by adding blue food coloring.

Regional usages

Africa: synonymous and similar side dishes

Europe

Meso- and South America

Other uses

cornmeal in Spanish: Harina de maíz
cornmeal in French: Farine de maïs
cornmeal in Swedish: Majsmjöl
cornmeal in Portuguese: Fubá
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