hominy

hominy

[hom-uh-nee]
hominy [Algonquian], hulled corn with the germ removed and served either ground or whole. The pioneers in North America prepared it by soaking the kernels in weak wood lye until the hulls floated to the top. Hominy is boiled until tender and served as a vegetable. Hominy grits (hominy ground into small grains) are boiled and served as a vegetable or as a cereal, or they may be shaped into patties and fried; they are especially popular in the S United States. Samp is a type of coarse hominy.
Hominy or nixtamal is dried maize (corn) kernels which have been treated with an alkali of some kind.

The traditional U.S. version involves soaking dried corn in lye-water (sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide solution), traditionally derived from wood ash, until the hulls are removed. Mexican recipes describe a preparation process consisting primarily of cooking in lime-water (calcium hydroxide). In either case, the process is called nixtamalization, and removes the germ and the hard outer hull from the kernels, making them more palatable, easier to digest, and easier to process.

Commercially available canned hominy may have a slightly stronger scent when compared to the traditional preparation.

The earliest known usage of nixtamalization was in what is present-day Guatemala around 1500–1200 BC. It affords several significant nutritional advantages over untreated maize products. It converts some of the niacin (and possibly other B vitamins) into a form more absorbable by the body, improves the availability of the amino acids, and (at least in the lime-treated variant) supplements the calcium content, balancing maize's comparative excess of phosphorus.

Many Native American cultures made hominy and integrated it into their diet. Cherokees, for example, made hominy grits by soaking corn in lye and beating it with a kanona (corn beater). The grits were used to make a traditional hominy soup (called Gv-No-He-Nv A-Ma-Gi-i), a hominy soup that was allowed to ferment (Gv-Wi Si-Da A-Ma-Gi-i), cornbread, dumplings (Di-Gu-Nv-i) or fried with bacon and green onions.

Some recipes using hominy include menudo (a spicy tripe and hominy soup), pozole (a stew of hominy and pork, chicken, prawns, or other meat), hominy bread, hominy chili, casseroles and fried dishes. Hominy can be ground coarsely to make hominy grits, or into a fine mash (dough) to make masa, the dough used to make tamales.

Rockihominy, a popular trail food in the 19th & early 20th centuries, is dried corn roasted to a golden brown, then ground to a very coarse meal, almost like hominy grits.

Hominy can also be used as animal feed.

External links

Search another word or see Hominyon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature