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Cornmeal for Polenta


Dan M
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Most of the corn grown in Mexico is white corn. The bright yellow corn, known as sweet corn, or dent corn is imported from the U.S.A. or Brazil. It is likely to gmo  corn, heavily subsidized by the U.S. Government. This imported corn has much more flavor than white corn but it much harder to remove seed skins, as required for tortillas or hominey.

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5 hours ago, ComputerGuy said:

WalMart has pre-made. Soriana has pre-made. Curious: is it worth making it youself when stores already sell it??

If you mean those rolled tubes of polenta, there is a world of difference.  Most people prefer a softer creamier polenta, making it yourself, you can decide how soft, how creamy depending on what you are serving with it.  The stuff in tubes is very firm and to me, waxy and devoid of taste.  I bought a few times in the US, so can't comment on what's sold locally.  I have bought a quick cooking polenta at SL and it's literally 5 minutes start to finish.  

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On 4/16/2018 at 10:49 AM, CHILLIN said:

Most of the corn grown in Mexico is white corn. The bright yellow corn, known as sweet corn, or dent corn is imported from the U.S.A. or Brazil. It is likely to gmo  corn, heavily subsidized by the U.S. Government. This imported corn has much more flavor than white corn but it much harder to remove seed skins, as required for tortillas or hominey.

Chillin, as far as I know, no sweet corn is imported from the USA.  It's being grown now in the neighboring states of Guanajuato and Querétaro, and marketed in many parts of Mexico.

Dent corn is otherwise known as 'field corn' and in Mexico is used predominately to make things like Doritos, as well as for forage (animal food).  I work in the field of corn (as opposed to the corn field) and can tell you that USA dent corn is NOT used to make tortillas.  The majority of this imported dent corn is, as you said, more than likely GMO corn. 

Most Mexican native (and non-GMO) corns are regional varieties.  Another portion of Mexican-grown corn is grown in the state of Sinaloa, when that state's crop is still coming and and other states' crops are used up.  All of these kinds of corn, grown in Mexico, are used to make what you call 'hominy' but what is in fact the nixtamalized corn used to make corn masa (dough) for tortillas, tamales, sopes, and other Mexican dishes.  

Beginning about three or four years ago, Mexico's courts have prohibited the introduction of GMO seed corn into the country.  It's possible, though, that during the presidency of Felipe Calderón, some GMO corn was introduced prior to that ruling.  

http://mexicocooks.typepad.com/mexico_cooks/2017/01/popcorn-the-original-mexican-corn-who-knew-maíz-palomero-el-máiz-original-de-méxico-quién-sabía.html 
http://mexicocooks.typepad.com/mexico_cooks/2016/10/corn-an-ancient-gift-from-mexico-to-feed-the-world.html

 

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More Liana you have done a lot more research than I have. I know Mexico imports a lot of corn from the U.S.A., so much so that American farmers would take a big hit it a trade dispute develops.

I have tried to nixtamalize dent corn without success. It definitely is tastier than white corn, but because you have include the skins in the grind so it is kind of grainy, with lots of fibre. There is a brand is tostadas from CDMX that seems that way. The best experiment I had with masa was mixing some sourdough corn mash I was always making for home distilling sour mash whiskey (bourbon). I had to add some wheat flour for gluten. The tortillas were paper thin and you could definitely taste the corn mash.

I wonder why Southern US states like their grits made with white corn? It might be the same issue with dehulling. Southern grits do not taste like polenta or masa.

 

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22 hours ago, CHILLIN said:

More Liana you have done a lot more research than I have. I know Mexico imports a lot of corn from the U.S.A., so much so that American farmers would take a big hit it a trade dispute develops.

I have tried to nixtamalize dent corn without success. It definitely is tastier than white corn, but because you have include the skins in the grind so it is kind of grainy, with lots of fibre. There is a brand is tostadas from CDMX that seems that way. The best experiment I had with masa was mixing some sourdough corn mash I was always making for home distilling sour mash whiskey (bourbon). I had to add some wheat flour for gluten. The tortillas were paper thin and you could definitely taste the corn mash.

I wonder why Southern US states like their grits made with white corn? It might be the same issue with dehulling. Southern grits do not taste like polenta or masa.

 

Chillin, there is so much to know about corn and its history; I find it endlessly fascinating.  If you'd like to know more about corn and use Facebook, look for and join a group called Tortilla de Maíz Mexicana.  I work with the founder in the promotion and preservation of native corns.

Generally speaking, the pericarp (that little husk that covers each corn kernel) isn't removed after nixtamalization, when one grinds corn for tortillas, tamales, etc.  The point of nixtamalization isn't to completely get rid of that husk, it's to remove the pericarp from the kernels but not the masa (dough).  Removing the pericarp from the kernel lets one's body make use of the vital amino acids in corn.  Those amino acids combine with the amino acids in beans to make a complete protein.  Mexico discovered that in the Stone Age (literally, approximately 11,000 years ago) and even without much animal protein, the ancient peoples were safe from pellagra, a protein deficiency that can and does kill.

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On ‎2018‎-‎04‎-‎16 at 10:49 AM, Bisbee Gal said:

If you mean those rolled tubes of polenta, there is a world of difference.  Most people prefer a softer creamier polenta, making it yourself, you can decide how soft, how creamy depending on what you are serving with it.  The stuff in tubes is very firm and to me, waxy and devoid of taste.  I bought a few times in the US, so can't comment on what's sold locally.  I have bought a quick cooking polenta at SL and it's literally 5 minutes start to finish.  

The REAL Polenta it is not a running porridge, firm!

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3 hours ago, bontepar said:

The REAL Polenta it is not a running porridge, firm!

I disagree.  Polenta is a cooked mixture of coarse corn meal and water and/or other liquids.  It can be firm or creamy, as desired.  I am not familiar with porridge, whether running or standing still.  

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2 minutes ago, bontepar said:

The REAL Polenta it is not a running porridge, firm!

Some here think that corn mush is polenta. Polenta takes an hour of cooking to start to get it right.

https://www.seriouseats.com/2015/05/how-to-make-the-best-polenta.html

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On 4/16/2018 at 8:59 AM, ComputerGuy said:

WalMart has pre-made. Soriana has pre-made. Curious: is it worth making it youself when stores already sell it??

If you are referring to the pre made “logs” that I have seen at Walmart US stores, well I guess you have never had the real thing! I add wine, low sodium chicken broth, herb cream chese  and butter to the basic recipe on the bags. 

5 hours ago, oregontochapala said:

Yes! There is no comparison and it is simple to make yourself. You can add whatever you like shortly before it is finished cooking. The Pheasant brand is quite good. 

 

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On ‎4‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 2:58 PM, Bisbee Gal said:

I disagree.  Polenta is a cooked mixture of coarse corn meal and water and/or other liquids.  It can be firm or creamy, as desired.  I am not familiar with porridge, whether running or standing still.  

You must like overcooked pasta preferably with LOTS of Alfredo sauce, sort of navigating in it, it is as good as loose polenta

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