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!