5 Fun Facts About Cornmeal

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Cornmeal is one of those ingredients people tend to toss in their cart and not think too much about. And you really don't need to know too much about cornmeal to use it. However, there are a few fun facts that are worth learning if you'd like to further your understanding of this popular, versatile ingredient.

Cornmeal is made from hard corn.

Cornmeal is not made from the type of corn you would eat off the cob or from a can. It's actually made from hard corn, also known as field corn. This is the type of corn that is typically fed to cattle and sheep. So, if you were wondering, you can't just dry out your corn on the cob and grind it up to make cornmeal.

Cornmeal is gluten-free.

Gluten is a specific protein found in wheat and in smaller quantities in some other grains. It irritates some peoples' digestive tracts and causes severe reactions in those with celiac disease. Luckily, if you are gluten-intolerant, cornmeal is a grain product you can safely consume. Just make sure you do look for a cornmeal brand that is labelled "gluten-free." Some brands are technically not able to be labelled gluten-free because they are processed on equipment that also processes wheat and may therefore contain traces of gluten. 

Cornmeal is high in dietary fibre.

Unlike white flour, which has had the outer hull removed from the wheat, cornmeal is made from the whole grain. The outer shell of the corn is quite high in fibre, which means that cornmeal itself is high in fibre. If you're looking to boost your fibre intake, adding some cornmeal to your muffin and bread recipes is one way to do it. You could even add a small amount to your cookies. 

Cornmeal comes in various forms.

While your local grocery store may only sell one or two kinds of cornmeal, there are actually many different varieties sold around the world. Mainly, they vary in coarseness. The finest cornmeal is known as masa harina, or cornflour, and it is used to make tamales and corn tortillas. The coarsest cornmeal is used to make grits in the American South. The type used to make breads and muffins is usually a medium-coarse grind.

Now that you know a little more about cornmeal, you will feel informed when shopping for and using this ingredient.

For more information, contact a company like Dover Corn Products LTD.

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