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home > food & wine dictionary > cornmeal

Food and Wine Dictionary


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 cornmeal 

Dried corn kernels that have been ground in one of three textures — fine, medium or coarse. There are two methods of grinding. The old-fashioned water-ground (also called stone-ground) method — so named because water power is used to turn the mill wheels — retains some of the hull and germ of the corn. Because of the fat in the germ, water-ground cornmeal is more nutritious, but won't keep as long and should be stored (up to 4 months) in the refrigerator. Water-ground cornmeal is available at health-food stores and some supermarkets. The newer style of milling is done by huge steel rollers that remove the husk and germ almost completely. The product can be stored almost indefinitely in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Water-ground or stone-ground cornmeal is usually so labeled; steel-ground cornmeal rarely carries any designation on the package. Cornmeal is either yellow, white or blue, depending on the type of corn used. Yellow cornmeal has slightly more vitamin A than white. Blue cornmeal is usually available only in specialty markets or the gourmet section of some supermarkets. However, there are an increasing number of blue-corn products available such as blue-cornmeal flakes and chips. See also  CORN FLOUR.

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Material adapted from the The New Food Lover's Companion

© Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on
THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.


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