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Feb 11, 2007 09:40 PM

Differences between cornmeals

Well, I bought some cornmeal from Henry's supermarket and it appears to be a coarse, grainy meal. I have used it to make polenta, which cooked in like minutes so I assumed that it was quick cooking cornmeal or something. But now I want to fry okra and the recipe just says cornmeal, so is this coarse grainy cornmeal okay or should I be using corn flour or like finely ground cornmeal. Does anyone know the difference between all these types of cornmeal/polenta/grits?

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    1. i wish i had an answer for you..... I have a guess- I would think if your using it for frying you would want the fine kind for the batter constistancy to be smooth and crunchy. Thats just a guess though.... I hope it helps a little

      1. dear digkv
        i am not a huge expert on cornmeal-- i like a coarse stoneground for polenta, but sometimes like to make it from the quaker paper package-- guess it's a bit like mac&c from the box.
        to your question: it probably doesn't make any difference which cornmeal you use for quick-frying okra, the dif will probably be unnoticeable, but a coarser ground might give a more interesting texture and appearence. sounds like your recipe might be a southern recipe though-- in that case, when serving to folks from the south, you might remember that in the "deep south", the saying goes, "white cornmeal is for folks, yellow is for critters (or new yorkers)".

        1. I have a very traditional Southern cookbook that says it's mostly a matter of personal choice (though the authors prefer fine stone-ground white cornmeal). It says a fine grind can absorb more liquid and that, obviously, cornbread, for example, would be less coarse. I wouldn't think corn flour would be what you want for the okra.

          1 Reply
          1. re: nashville2ny

            Thank you all for your help. I went ahead and used just the cornmeal polenta type, and mixed it with flour and it came out to be fine. It had a texture of a traditional flour dredged fried vegetable but with an extra grainy sort of crunch from the cornmeal, one similar to breadcrumbs without being to crumbly.

          2. glad the okra was yummy!