Corn the way people first fell in love with it
At the same time, some farmers and chefs have begun experimenting with heirloom corn varieties—plants more similar to what some Native American peoples cultivated hundreds of years ago than to the corn that we see along the highways of the Midwest.
In Heritage, chef Sean Brock describes how eating and cooking with heirloom cornmeal and other grains have revolutionized the way he cooks and how he sources ingredients. Heirloom cornmeal comes from old-fashioned varieties that are free of genetically modified organisms. Such cornmeals are typically stone ground, a process that doesn’t heat up the corn during grinding and leaves a more multidimensional flavor to the final product by retaining both the germ and the hull.
Heirloom varieties come in many colors, including blue, red, purple, pink, orange, white and yellow. Cooking and baking with heirloom cornmeal really allows the corn flavor to come through and results in a unique final product.
Look for heirloom and stoneground local cornmeal at your farmers market and in area groceries and specialty markets.
Cornmeal should always be stored in an airtight container and will keep for about two months at room temperature or about 12 months in the freezer.