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Saturday, July 19, 2008


The only native American grain, corn was used by the Indians before Columbus and was introduced to Europe by the early explorers of this continent. Cornmeal is made of ground corn kernels. Water-ground meal retains the vitamin-rich germ, while commercially ground meal is made from only the starchy part of the kernel. As with all ground kernels, the texture of the meal can range from coarse to fine, depending on the dish being prepared. A coarse grind is ideal for Italian polenta, while finer grinds are usually used for American southern favorites such as spoon bread, muffins, and mush, although some prefer a coarser texture in these dishes as well. Cornmeal
dishes are traditionally cooked in heavy iron pans to encourage the formation of a thick, dark crust. Both yellow and white cornmeal are available. The difference is really only in the color, but there are strong partisans of each kind in different regions of the country.

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