A report on Cornmeal

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

Meal ground from dried corn.

- Cornmeal
Cornmeal

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Maize

9 links

Maize (Zea mays subsp.

Maize (Zea mays subsp.

Plant fragments dated to 4200 BC found in the Guilá Naquitz Cave in Oaxaca, Mexico, showed maize had already been domesticated from teosinte.
Cultivation of maize in an illustration from the 16th c. Florentine Codex
Ancient Mesoamerican relief, National Museum of Anthropology of Mexico
Many small male flowers make up the male inflorescence, called the tassel.
Zea mays 'Ottofile giallo Tortonese` – MHNT
Zea mays "strawberry"—MHNT
Zea mays "Oaxacan Green" MHNT
Variegated maize ears
Multicolored corn kernels (CSIRO)
Exotic varieties of maize are collected to add genetic diversity when selectively breeding new domestic strains
Teosinte (top), maize-teosinte hybrid (middle), maize (bottom)
Stucco head of the Maya maize god, 550–850 AD
Seedlings three weeks after sowing
Young stalks
Mature plants showing ears
Mature maize ears
Harvesting maize, Jones County, Iowa
Harvesting maize, Rantasalmi, South Savonia, Finland
Hand-picking harvest of maize in Myanmar
Production of maize (2019)
Semi-peeled corn on the cob
Poster showing a woman serving muffins, pancakes, and grits, with canisters on the table labeled corn meal, grits, and hominy, US Food Administration, 1918
Mexican tamales made with corn meal
Boiled corn on a white plate
Farm-based maize silage digester located near Neumünster in Germany, 2007. Green inflatable biogas holder is shown on top of the digester.
Children playing in a maize kernel box
Female inflorescence, with young silk
Mature silk
Stalks, ears and silk
Male flowers
Full-grown maize plants
Mature maize ear on a stalk
Maize kernels
Maize plant diagram
Ear of maize with irregular rows of kernels
With white and yellow kernels

Sugar-rich varieties called sweet corn are usually grown for human consumption as kernels, while field corn varieties are used for animal feed, various corn-based human food uses (including grinding into cornmeal or masa, pressing into corn oil, fermentation and distillation into alcoholic beverages like bourbon whiskey), and as feedstocks for the chemical industry.

An 1836 lithograph of tortilla production in rural Mexico

Nixtamalization

5 links

Process for the preparation of corn, or other grain, in which the grain is soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution, usually limewater , washed, and then hulled.

Process for the preparation of corn, or other grain, in which the grain is soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution, usually limewater , washed, and then hulled.

An 1836 lithograph of tortilla production in rural Mexico
Dried, treated maize sold in Oaxaca, Mexico (US quarter and Mexican peso shown for scale)
Dry maize, untreated (left) and boiled in lime (right). In this case, typical of El Salvador, a pound of maize (454 g) is boiled with a tablespoon of lime (15 mL) for 15 minutes, left to stand for a few hours, and washed with fresh water. The hulls are removed, and the kernels ground into masa. Exact methods vary by use and region.
Flowchart of the nixtamalization process.

As a result, while cornmeal made from untreated ground maize is unable by itself to form a dough on addition of water, the chemical changes in masa allow dough formation.

Ugali and sukuma wiki (collard greens)

Ugali

6 links

Type of stiff maize flour porridge made in Africa.

Type of stiff maize flour porridge made in Africa.

Ugali and sukuma wiki (collard greens)
Friends at Chikondi, Malawi, eating nsima, ndiwo, and masamba
Ugali with beef and sauce
Yawo women preparing ugali for a large gathering.
Tuo zaafi
A woman stirring sagtulga
Tuo zaafi and ayoyo soup
Eating ugali in Kenya
Nsima (top right corner) with three relishes
A dish of uphuthu (right) served with skop (meat from the head of a cow)
A man and a woman cooking Sadza in Botswana (Domboshaba Cultural festival 2017)
Ugali and cabbage
Phutu, pictured with tomato-based relish in the foreground
A meal of sadza (right), greens, and goat offal. The goat's small intestines are wrapped around small pieces of large intestines before cooking.
Ugali and usipa (small fish), staples of the Yawo people of the African Great Lakes.

Nsima is a dish made from maize flour (white cornmeal) and water and is a staple food in Zambia (nshima/nsima/ubwali) and Malawi (nsima).

Polenta porridge with lentils (bottom) and cotechino sausage (top)

Polenta

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Polenta porridge with lentils (bottom) and cotechino sausage (top)
Packaged polenta
Polenta served in the traditional manner on a round wooden cutting board.
Fried polenta with marinara sauce.
La Polenta by Pietro Longhi

Polenta is a dish of boiled cornmeal that was historically made from other grains.

A bowl of oatmeal porridge

Porridge

7 links

Food made by heating or boiling ground, crushed or chopped starchy plants, typically grain, in milk or water.

Food made by heating or boiling ground, crushed or chopped starchy plants, typically grain, in milk or water.

A bowl of oatmeal porridge
A bowl of oatmeal porridge
Cooked oatmeal in a bowl
Porridge as sold in German supermarkets
Millet porridge
Porridge oats before cooking
Porridge by William Hemsley (1893)
Champorado
Rice porridge with mixed fruit soup
Beef yam porridge with red and green pepper
Malt-O-Meal with coffee
Traditional Estonian rustic porridge Mulgipuder made with potatoes, groats and meat is known as a national dish of Estonia
Traditional Latvian barley grit porridge with milk, potatoes and speck (bukstiņputra)

Atole, a Mexican dish of corn flour in water or milk.

Skillet cornbread

Cornbread

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Skillet cornbread
Cornbread, prepared as a muffin
Home-baked cornbread made with blue cornmeal
Johnnycakes on a plate
Collard sandwich with fried cornbread, collard greens, and fatback
Pan-baked Southern-style cornbread, made with yellow cornmeal.

Cornbread is a quick bread made with cornmeal, associated with the cuisine of the Southern United States, with origins in Native American cuisine.

Three different kinds of wheat and rye flour. From left to right: wheat flour Type 550 (all purpose flour), wheat flour Type 1050 (first clear flour), rye flour Type 1150

Flour

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Powder made by grinding raw grains, roots, beans, nuts, or seeds.

Powder made by grinding raw grains, roots, beans, nuts, or seeds.

Three different kinds of wheat and rye flour. From left to right: wheat flour Type 550 (all purpose flour), wheat flour Type 1050 (first clear flour), rye flour Type 1150
All-purpose flour
Cassava flour (left) and corn flour (right) in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. These flours are basic ingredients for the cuisine of Central Africa.
Kinako
A field of unripe wheat
A Walz set of roller mills.
Flour being stored in large cloth sacks
A variety of types of flour and cereals sold at a bazaar in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

For example, the word cornmeal often connotes a grittier texture whereas corn flour connotes fine powder, although there is no codified dividing line.

Grits, as a breakfast side-dish with bacon, scrambled eggs and toast

Grits

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Grits, as a breakfast side-dish with bacon, scrambled eggs and toast
Grits with cheese, bacon, green onion and a basted egg
Prepared grits

Grits are a porridge made from boiled cornmeal.

Mielie Meal paste served with syrup as a breakfast dish

Mielie meal

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Mielie Meal paste served with syrup as a breakfast dish

Mielie meal, also known as mealie meal or maize meal, is a relatively coarse flour (much coarser than cornflour or cornstarch) made from maize or mealies in Southern Africa, from the Portuguese milho.

Masa dough for tortillas

Masa

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Maize dough that comes from ground nixtamalized corn.

Maize dough that comes from ground nixtamalized corn.

Masa dough for tortillas
The process of making masa from maize

By contrast, untreated cornmeal is unable to form a dough on the addition of water, and a diet heavily reliant on its consumption is a risk factor for pellagra.