Ask Cynthia a Question – February 20, 2013

Peggy asked: I am wondering what is the difference between white and yCindy 2003 Photo smallellow cornmeal? Why do Southerners prefer white cornmeal in their cornbread and the yellow as feed for animals? Is it just preferred taste? What is the nutritional value of each one? Can you easily substitute in each recipe and does one notice the difference in taste? Thank you!

My answer: It’s probably personal taste on whether to use white or yellow cornmeal. I make sweet yellow (applesauce) cornbread; if I was from the south perhaps I would have been taught differently.

White corn is sweeter and it has slightly less vitamin A than yellow corn. From my research it sounds like white cornmeal is generally used in the Deep South where their cornbread is usually not sweetened, although everyone is different. Here’s a site that explains the differences among yellow, white and blue corn. Chowhound has some comments on white cornmeal vs. yellow cornmeal you might find interesting, as does A Taste of Home.  All cornmeal is made from field corn, which is fed to farm animals, so this might be the reason some consider it animal food. Good question, Peggy, thanks for asking.

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