Edible Michiana Fall 2015 : Page 48

edible traditions HEIRLOOM CORNMEAL Corn the way people first fell in love with it In recent times, corn has become an embattled food. Concerns over genetically modified foods, large-scale monocropping and the impact of high-fructose corn syrup on our diets have led many to question our dependence on this member of the grass family, one of the oldest plants to be cultivated in the Americas. 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. —Tara Swartzendruber-Landis Photo by Grant Beachy GIVING THANKS FOR CORNBREAD Putting an everyday staple on the holiday table M y grandfather, born and raised in North Carolina, ate cornbread for supper most nights. He also ate it for breakfast. And dessert. (He liked it best crumbled in a glass of buttermilk and eaten with a spoon.) Some folks like to argue over the way to make cornbread—adding sugar to the batter is practically treason for some cornbread authorities. (Personally, I like a bit of sugar or maple syrup in mine, but don’t tell anyone.) Thankfully, one thing there’s no debate over is the best time to eat cornbread because, as my grandfather knew, the only correct answer is anytime. Cornbread is so good it belongs on the table at any meal, including holiday feasts. For a simple supper, try chef Sean Brock’s Cracklin’ Cornbread alongside some local meat or beans, then use the same recipe as the basis for our Cornbread and Chorizo Stuffing for your Thanksgiving table (recipes at right). I can guarantee either one will have your friends and family lining up for more. — Maya Parson Tara Swartzendruber-Landis is Edible Michiana’s recipe editor and food stylist. 48 edible Michiana | FALL 2015

Giving Thanks for Cornbread

Photo By Grant Beachy

Edible Traditions

Putting an everyday staple on the holiday table

My grandfather, born and raised in North Carolina, ate cornbread for supper most nights. He also ate it for breakfast. And dessert. (He liked it best crumbled in a glass of buttermilk and eaten with a spoon.)

Some folks like to argue over the way to make cornbread–adding sugar to the batter is practically treason for some cornbread authorities. (Personally, I like a bit of sugar or maple syrup in mine, but don't tell anyone.) Thankfully, one thing there's no debate over is the best time to eat cornbread because, as my grandfather knew, the only correct answer is anytime.

Cornbread is so good it belongs on the table at any meal, including holiday feasts. For a simple supper, try chef Sean Brock's Cracklin' Cornbread alongside some local meat or beans, then use the same recipe as the basis for our Cornbread and Chorizo Stuffing for your Thanksgiving table (recipes at right). I can guarantee either one will have your friends and family lining up for more.

–Maya Parson

HEIRLOOM CORNMEAL

Corn the way people first fell in love with it

In recent times, corn has become an embattled food. Concerns over genetically modified foods, large-scale monocropping and the impact of high-fructose corn syrup on our diets have led many to question our dependence on this member of the grass family, one of the oldest plants to be cultivated in the Americas.

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.

–Tara Swartzendruber-Landis

Tara Swartzendruber-Landis is Edible Michiana's recipe editor and food stylist.

Read the full article at http://onlinedigeditions.com/article/Giving+Thanks+for+Cornbread/2242798/269081/article.html.

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