A report on Maize and Cornmeal

Plant fragments dated to 4200 BC found in the Guilá Naquitz Cave in Oaxaca, Mexico, showed maize had already been domesticated from teosinte.
Southern Africa's Nshima cornmeal (top right corner), served with three relishes.
Cultivation of maize in an illustration from the 16th c. Florentine Codex
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.
Ancient Mesoamerican relief, National Museum of Anthropology of Mexico
A corn muffin
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

Cornmeal is a meal (coarse flour) ground from dried corn.

- Cornmeal

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.

- Maize

9 related topics with Alpha


A bowl of oatmeal porridge


3 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)
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)

Maize porridge:

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

An 1836 lithograph of tortilla production in rural Mexico


2 links

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.

Nixtamalization is a process for the preparation of corn, or other grain, in which the grain is soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution, usually limewater (but sometimes aqueous alkali metal carbonates ), washed, and then hulled.

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.

Masa dough for tortillas


2 links

Masa dough for tortillas
The process of making masa from maize

Masa (or masa de maíz) is a maize dough that comes from ground nixtamalized corn.

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.

Wrapped and unwrapped tamales oaxaqueños (from Oaxaca, Mexico) filled with mole negro and chicken


2 links

Wrapped and unwrapped tamales oaxaqueños (from Oaxaca, Mexico) filled with mole negro and chicken
Tamales served to honor the birth of a child, Florentine Codex
Black and red tamales in Guatemala.
Nacatamal with both banana leaf and aluminum foil wrapping
A batch of Mexican tamales in the tamalera
A tamal dulce breakfast tamale from Oaxaca, Mexico. It contains pineapple, raisins and blackberries.
South American-style humitas
Binaki, a type of sweet tamale from Bukidnon, Philippines
Delta-style tamales from Clarksdale, Mississippi.
Tamale pie
El vivandero Ño Juan José (cropped)

A tamale, in Spanish tamal, is a traditional Mesoamerican dish made of masa, a dough made from nixtamalized corn, which is steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf.

In the Mississippi Delta, African Americans developed a spicy tamale made from cornmeal instead of masa, which is boiled in corn husks.

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


1 links

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.

The variety of cereal used is usually yellow maize, but often buckwheat, white maize, or mixtures thereof may be used.

Ugali and sukuma wiki (collard greens)


1 links

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.

Ugali, or sima, is a type of stiff maize flour porridge made in Africa.

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).


1 links

Mămăligă with sour cream and cheese
Grilled bulz and pastrami
Mămăligă with pork rind, bryndza and sour cream
Mămăligă with a spoonful of sour cream and sarmale
Mămăligă and trout wrapped in tinfoil
Moldavian tochitură with mămăligă, cheese and egg
Bulz with egg

Mămăligă is a porridge made out of yellow maize flour, traditional in Romania, Moldova and West Ukraine.

The Romanian version of cornmeal

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


0 links

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.
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

Corn flour has been important in Mesoamerican cuisine since ancient times and remains a staple in the Americas.

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

Skillet cornbread


0 links

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.

Native people in the Americas began using corn (maize) and ground corn as food for thousands of years before Europeans arrived in the New World.