Cornstarch: What the heck is it?


Last week my hubby and I were standing in the kitchen, and he asked me “What exactly IS cornstarch?  Is is really corn?”  And a blog post was born!

Cornstarch is a dense, powdery “flour” obtained from the endosperm portion of the corn kernel.  Cornstarch is most commonly used as a thickening agent for puddings, sauces, soups, etc.  Sauces thickened with cornstarch will be clear, rather than opaque, as with flour-based sauces.  However, they will thin if cooked to long or stirred to vigorously.  Cornstarch is also used in combination with flour in many European cake and cookie recipes; it produces a finer-textured, more compact product than flour alone.  In British recipes, cornstarch is referred to as cornflour.  I have also used it as a breading for chicken, and it provided a light coating when browned.

So the answer to the question, “Is cornstarch REALLY corn?” Yep, it totally is!


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