cornmeal n : coarsely ground corn [syn: Indian meal]
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.
TypesSteel 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.
Africa: synonymous and similar side dishes
- Nshima and Nsima, Zambia and Malawi respectively
- Nomadi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Sadza, Zimbabwe
- 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 Eritrea (aka Lahoh in Eritrea).
- Kachamak (Bulgarian: качамак), Bulgaria
- Mămăligă, 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)
Meso- and South America
- As a release agent to prevent breads and pizza from sticking to their pans when baking.
- Cornstarch, ground from the endosperm, or white heart of the corn kernel, is used as a binder in puddings and similar foods.
- As a natural pesticide as some insects' digestive organs will swell after consuming cornmeal and water, causing them to die.
- Added with a detergent in a 50/50 mix for skin decontamination.
- As an ingredient used for corn dog or cornbrats batter
- Used to coat English muffins
cornmeal in Spanish: Harina de maíz
cornmeal in French: Farine de maïs
cornmeal in Swedish: Majsmjöl
cornmeal in Portuguese: Fubá