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White cornmeal

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Here we are at Thanksgiving again and the ususl search for white cornmeal. The last several years I've been able to find it after calling 3-4 of the major chains, but this year ALL say the same thing: we no longer stock it. Anybody here know where to find it? I'm in Orange County, Californa.

Obviously, this is for the traditional southern turkey dressing. Anybody tried a substitue? I've read here that Quaker Grits can be used. Anybody done that?

TIA

Ed

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  1. I buy Indian Head cornmeal. I would mail order it but I am lucky to have stock it occasionally. Anson Mills would be another good source.

    1. you're making cornbread dressing? just use yellow meal. you can't sub grits.

      don't you bake the cornmeal into cornbread? i've never seen uncooked meal going into dressing -- and i'm southern.

      8 Replies
      1. re: alkapal

        Anson Mills produces white corn meal, yellow corn meal as well as yellow and white grits.

        1. re: Candy

          i have no doubt anson mills is a fine source. but, time is short, and the white meal vs. yellow isn't critical.

          1. re: alkapal

            To me it is. Spoonbread would not be what it is if made with yellow cornmeal, and especially if not stone ground.

            1. re: Candy

              Whereas the only spoonbreads I ever encountered in my college years in Virginia, land of spoonbread, were made with yellow cornmeal. Go figure.

              1. re: Karl S

                I grew up w/ a VA mother, and her batter bread (as it is called in VA) was only made with white stoneground fine cornmeal.

                Don't know if you went to W&M but Chris Schlesinger and Steve Johnson both went there iirc.

              2. re: Candy

                candy, spoonbread is a different matter than when the meal is made into cornbread and then made into dressing!
                ;-).
                and karl, i agree. i'm only familiar with yellow spoonbread.
                but i'll proudly and greedily eat corn pone made with yellow or white meal, esp. with field peas and pot likker with bacon.

                1. re: alkapal

                  I use stone ground white corn meal whether for spoon or corn bread. I like the texture and flavor. I guess it matters if it is what you grew up with.

                  1. re: Candy

                    true. i grew up with both.

        2. Use yellow cornmeal if you can't find white. While some people detect flavor differences between the two, at least the stoneground versions thereof*, for most people it's really just a color difference. White cornmeal is more traditional in the South and southeastern New England (especially Rhode Island), and yellow cornmeal everywhere else, but that's not a necessity.

          * John Thorne describes his impressions of the differences in one of his books. IIRC, he found yellow to have more up-front flavor, and white to have a less up-front but more lingering flavor.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Karl S

            I learned to make proper cornbread in Nashville (as opposed to the Jiffy mix of my childhood), but when I'm not using Martha White self-rising cornbread mix I go for yellow. I like it better, and I think it gets crunchier in the skillet than white does. Which I prefer.

            1. re: Will Owen

              I just bought some Martha White mix from a clearance store. The first batch was ok, but not as good as what I've made from scratch. Usually I use Quaker yellow, or something similar from the bulk section, and equal parts wheat and corn, though I have also made a pure corn version using a fine grind (southern style). The MW version seemed overly dry and crumbly. I may try doubling the amount of eggs next time. The leftovers did work well in a bacon rich stuffing recipe.

              1. re: paulj

                I've always preferred the MW mix to White Lily's just because it's all cornmeal and no wheat flour. I always make it in a skillet, melting the shortening in the preheating process and then beating it into the just-combined batter. Variation is to put a lot of chopped bacon in the skillet and dump bacon, grease and all into the batter. For fancier, moister cornbread I add a small can of cream-style corn, some chopped green chiles, and a good bit of grated sharp cheddar. But for stuffing, I always make it plain, or with bacon

          2. Major chains prefer to limit DSD (Direct Supply Delivery) of items of that nature. Where I live, we have the lessor known chains that seems to allow such products in their stores. White Cornmeal and even White Cornflour. Is there any Health/Natural/Organic/Ethnic food stores in your area? Otherwise, web shopping would be next on that list.