I didn't read through the entire thread, so maybe someone already mentioned this, but hominy is made from field corn. If it comes dried, it should first be treated by cooking it in a solution of calcium hydroxide (aka "cal"). This step does three things. First, it softens the outermost hull on the corn so it can be rinsed away. Second, it makes the corn more nutritious by adding calcium, niacin, and trace nutrients. Third, and maybe most importantly, it makes the flavor wonderful. It tastes and smells like corn tortillas.
This is one of those things discovered by the Aztecs or Mayans (I forget which) that make you scratch your head and wonder how in the world they stumbled upon the process. Ancient aliens showed them I guess.
Oh, and I hate hominy from a can, too. It's just not the same as the real deal.