Cornmeal is flour ground from dried sweetcorn kernels. Cornmeal is nothing to do with cornflour. (The latter is ground to a fine chalky white powder and is a valuable thickening agent in sauces.) Cornmeal is generally yellow in colour, stays hard and gritty, and does not mix well with liquids unless further processed as masa harina.
It is very useful coat foods prior to frying or baking. English muffins are sometimes rolled in cornmeal.
What is Masa harina?
Masa harina is a form of ground dried cornmeal that is further processed by adding lime (calcium hydroxide). It is mainly used in Mexican cookery to make tortillas and taco chips. It does not have the yellow colour of cornmeal and is milled much finer than cornmeal. It has the feel of wholemeal flour.
Don't try and make tortillas with cornmeal as it won't amalgamate properly and they will fall apart when you try and press them out.
How much does one cup of cornmeal or masa weigh?
Estimated US cup to weight equivalents:
|Cornmeal or masa||
|150 grams||> 5 ounces|
Every ingredient has a cups to ounces or grams conversion table. Search for the ingredient, cup to weight conversions are at the end of each ingredient page.