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masa harina or corn meal?

MissMuffins

New member
I'm making sweet corn cake, apparently also known as corn spoon bread or corn pudding. The recipe I'm using calls for both masa harina and corn meal...but the box of corn meal I bought says "cornmeal" on one side and "masa harina" on the other! Is there a difference?

MM
 

SheLikesKitties

OW/YM 21YR GAP
I'm making sweet corn cake, apparently also known as corn spoon bread or corn pudding. The recipe I'm using calls for both masa harina and corn meal...but the box of corn meal I bought says "cornmeal" on one side and "masa harina" on the other! Is there a difference?

MM
I am just chipping in to say I have no clue. :(

Apparently masa harina is the dough used to make Mexican tortillas. I have never used it, but you could try and find it at a Mexican store.
What I know is that Mexican tortillas are made from white corn, while I am not sure if cornmeal is made from yellow corn.
 

MissMuffins

New member
Okay, I broke down and looked it up.

Masa harina is masa fresca which has been dried and pulverized, and has the texture of wheat flour used in baking. Masa fresca is made from field corn which has been soaked in slaked lime. Add water to masa harina and you've got masa for tortillas, tamales, etc.

Cornmeal is coarse (like farina) and hasn't been treated with slaked lime (which loosens the hulls and makes the niacin which is in corn easier for humans to digest).

While it is not recommended to substitute cornmeal (or wheat flour,for that matter) for masa harina, the recipe I was making didn't suffer for it. I was making a sweet corn pudding/porridge, but other recipes would definitely be affected in a bad way.

MM
 
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