If you have ever attempted to make cornbread or corn tortillas, you may be sitting at the grocery store wondering if masa harina and cornmeal are the same things that can be used interchangeably in recipes. These two corn products are quite different from each other, and Eddie’s Mexican Restaurant is here to talk about why.
Cornmeal & Masa Harina are Made of Dried Corn
To get both masa harina and cornmeal you have to have the same basic ingredient, dried corn. Without dried corn, you’ve got nothing.
– Cornmeal: For cornmeal, you grind this dried corn up to whatever texture you like. Some people prefer to have coarse cornmeal and others will like theirs ground up a bit more for a finer texture. You can use different types of corn as well when making cornmeal. Some people prefer white corn while others will want to make their cornmeal using yellow corn. Really, it is all a preference thing at this point. To get masa harina, you have to do more than simply grind up dried corn.
– Masa Harina: To make masa harina, you take that same basic dried field corn, and you add another step. You will soak that dried corn in an alkaline agent like calcium hydroxide or limewater, overnight. This won’t only make the corn taste better, but it also dissolves the outer skin and improves the nutritional content of the corn. After soaking it overnight, you simply rinse the outer skins off and grind it all up. This will produce masa dough.
What is Masa Harina Used to Make
Masa harina is what makes Mexican food so unique. It has a delicious flavor and is used to make tortillas, tamales, gorditas and more. Once masa dough is made, producers can dehydrate the dough and you have masa harina. When it is dehydrated, it looks like a very fine corn flour. It will be whatever color the corn that was used to make it is. Masa harina is basically dehydrated masa dough which means that all you have to do to have masa dough again is simply add water.
Can I Use Cornmeal in Place of Masa Harina?
When it comes to Mexican cuisine, there will more than likely never be any cornmeal used to make tortillas and other foods that we all love. This is because the taste and texture are usually quite different from one another. If you were to use cornmeal to make tortillas, you would more than likely be disappointed in the result because the flavor would be so far off.
Authentic Mexican Cuisine in Las Vegas, Nevada (Just Minutes from Summerlin, North LV, Paradise, Lone Mountain & Henderson, NV)
If you are looking for some delicious, authentic Mexican cuisine, look no further than Eddie’s Mexican Restaurant. We have a large menu filled with one delicious meal after another. There is a little bit of everything that will suit the cravings of any Mexican food lover. Come in today!