Cornmeal

Cornmeal is cornmeal is cornmeal, right? Not quite. Although all types of cornmeal are interchangeable, texture varies from grind to grind and some cooks swear by their favorite color. Yellow, white, or blue? North of the Mason-Dixon line and in Europe, cooks prefer yellow cornmeal for baked goods and polenta (an Italian-style mush made from coarse-grind cornmeal). Many Southern bakers swear by white cornmeal and wouldn’t use anything else in cornbread or pancakes. White cornmeal is also the type used in African cuisines. Blue cornmeal is favored by cooks who like bright colors, hearty flavors, and an extra boost of nutrients. Stone-ground or steel-milled? “Old-fashioned” or stone-ground cornmeal is crushed between gristmill stones and retains some or all of the corn’s hull and germ. Steel-milled cornmeal is ground between large steel rollers and sifted to remove some or all of the hull and germ.