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Old 03-28-2019, 03:22 PM   #1
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Cornmeal

I am trying to get my head around cornmeals. I think Iíve got most understood but donít get the difference between Masa Harina and Hominy Grits. Both definitions are the same? Help!

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Old 03-28-2019, 04:16 PM   #2
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Like you, I can't really get around all the different corn meals ...

but... I believe that Masa is like a flour texture and grits are coarser.

another but... don't quote me
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Old 03-28-2019, 04:33 PM   #3
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Cornmeal is dried, ground corn. It's used primarily for corn bread. It's basically the same as polenta and can also be used to make that. Sometimes you'll see both cornmeal and polenta on the package.

Corn flour is dried, finely ground corn. It can used in the dredge for frying fish and seafood like clams.

Masa harina is corn that is treated with lime (nixtamalization), then dried and finely ground. It's used for tamales and tortillas. Nixtamalization softens the hull and makes it easier to remove. Other chemical changes allow it to hold together as a dough with just water, and allow the niacin (Vitamin B3) to be more easily absorbed by the body.
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Old 03-28-2019, 04:52 PM   #4
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Thank you for your response. Yes, I agree with all you said but homey grits (not corn grits) is made from corn processed the same way Masa Harina is processed. Either they are the same with just different names or there is a difference that I am unaware of.
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Old 03-28-2019, 06:31 PM   #5
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The hominy, if ground up finer is similar to masa harina, but the flavor is milder. I think, though don't quote me, the Mexican nixtamalization is done with calcium hydroxide - sold as cal in Mexican groceries - while the American version is done with sodium hydroxide, or lye. Since lye is a more powerful alkali, the hull is removed much faster, and probably the corn not being in the solution for as long, results in the milder, but similar flavor. In some of her earlier books, Diana Kennedy said to grind some hominy briefly in a blender to make a coarser, masa like meal, to make tamales. Now, a coarser masa is widely available for making tamales. I have often used that for making cornbread, when serving it with a Mexican or Tex-Mex dish.

Speaking of cornmeal, what is that sticky substance in cornmeal that comes through plastic bags, and I even remember coming through the old Tupperware containers, in my Mom's kitchen! It's not just oil - a lot of things have oil in them, and this is the only one it happens with, that I have seen. I keep it in glass jars, or foodsaver bags (never had it happen with these), in the freezer, since I don't use it much, and it does go rancid.
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Old 03-28-2019, 11:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoReese View Post
Thank you for your response. Yes, I agree with all you said but homey grits (not corn grits) is made from corn processed the same way Masa Harina is processed. Either they are the same with just different names or there is a difference that I am unaware of.
Sorry, I guess I lost track of your question Pepperhead is right - hominy grits is finely ground hominy.
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Old 03-28-2019, 11:56 PM   #7
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Not an answer, but this video just hit YouTube, and it shows the Nixtamalization process used to make fresh masa for tortillas. I was amazed at how flexible and stretchy the tortillas turn out when made this way.



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Old 03-29-2019, 10:24 AM   #8
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Is there a time limit within which to reply to responses

New to this message board. Above I don't see how I can respond to responses.
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Old 03-29-2019, 10:55 AM   #9
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Sorry, I guess I lost track of your question Pepperhead is right - hominy grits is finely ground hominy.

I have been getting conflicting info as to which is a finer grind Masa Harina or Hominy Grits.
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Old 03-29-2019, 12:40 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by MoReese View Post
I have been getting conflicting info as to which is a finer grind Masa Harina or Hominy Grits.

I think we could help you better if you shared why this question is important to you?
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