Anyone who lives in or has visited the South knows that hardly a meal goes by without some type of bread being served. Quite often the bread of choice is cornbread. There are other common uses for cornmeal besides preparing cornbread, but you may not have heard of them. Continue reading to find some other uses for this common meal accompaniment.
Cornmeal is made by grinding dried corn and has been used in this manner by Native Americans since the earliest history in the United States. Although most stores will sell yellow cornmeal, it is possible to find it in white or even blue varieties. Generally it will have a fine texture but it is possible to find it in coarser textures by looking for stone-ground or whole-grain cornmeal.
How else might you find cornmeal prepared? Here are a few of the more common ways:
- Cornbread is by far the most common uses. Similar to cornbread is spoon bread, corn fritters, Johnny cakes, cornbread muffins or hush puppies. All of these are types of bread that can be eaten with a meal.
- Corn mush or porridge is another common way to serve cornmeal.
- Cornmeal is also used as a main ingredient in corn chips such as Fritos or generic versions of corn chips. A different type of corn flour is used for corn tortilla chips, however.
- Cheese-type crackers, like Cheez-Its, also use cornmeal as a major ingredient.
- It is also common to find cornmeal as an ingredient in breading for fried foods. In fact, it is difficult to find catfish without cornmeal breading, particularly in the South. Cornmeal is also used as a batter for corndogs.
- Polenta is another dish that uses cornmeal; however this is mainly an Italian dish. The result of preparing cornmeal for polenta is that the mixture is soft and creamy. Polenta is often served with meat dishes.
- Watch someone preparing a handmade pizza and you may see them spread cornmeal on the peel so the crust doesn’t stick. It also gives the pizza crust an unmistakable texture.
There are also other non-food uses for cornmeal, but it tastes so good, why would you want to use it for anything else?