We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Flint Corn?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Flint corn is a variety of corn which is extraordinarily hard, but still usable in a wide range of applications. Dried ears of this vegetable are sometimes used decoratively, because they have distinctive and colorful kernels. When used decoratively, it is sometimes called Indian corn. The corn also has food use as well, however, and it is grown on several continents.

The formal name for flint corn, as with all corn varieties, is Zea mays. Numerous cultivars of this highly useful plant have been developed over the centuries, all selected to exhibit particular properties. The origins of Zea mays can be found in a humble grass, which still grows wild in parts of Central America. This grass was domesticated and bred to produce large ears of corn thousands of years ago by Native Americans, and it was an important part of their diet. When European explorers were introduced to the food, they brought it back with them and corn became a ubiquitous inclusion in the nutrition of people all over the world.

The kernels of an ear of flint corn can range from snow white to black in color. It is not uncommon to see an assortment of multicolored kernels on one ear. The kernels are made harder than other varieties of corn by a thick shell which covers the usable interior of the corn. This shell can be removed through processing to make the kernels into a usable food for people and animals.

One common use of flint corn is polenta, a dish which is traditionally made with ground corn. Hominy, also called posole, is also made from the same vegetable. To make hominy, the hard kernels are soaked in water and lye to release the hard shells and free up the nutrients in the corn. Hominy is the base of masa harina, a special type of corn flour, and an assortment of other dishes. Purple corn chips and tortillas are made from hominy with a preponderance of purple kernels. One variant on flint corn, popcorn, is particularly adored in many parts of North America.

Farmers also grow flint corn so that it can be processed into animal fodder. In addition, the corn can go through a variety of industrial processes to extract useful compounds. Collectively, the numerous cultivars of corn make up one of the most heavily grown and harvested crops in the world.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By yumdelish — On Jun 14, 2011

There's nothing like the aroma that comes from grilling corn on the cob on a weekend, knowing you can enjoy it with your friends and family.

For those of us with roots in Vermont this food is extra special, as it was the only crop to survive and produce food during the infamous 1816 'year without a summer'.

I would argue that it also makes the very best cornmeal you can buy, but I could be a little biased.

By Clairdelune — On Jun 14, 2011

I love to put flint corn/Indian corn, of all colors, into a cornucopia at Thanksgiving time. It really is beautiful and gives the house a good feeling.

How this flint corn came into being is a very interesting story. It started out as a plain wild grass,Zea mays. Over many centuries, it was domesticated into the corn we know today, by the Native Americans. How they got from a simple grass to ears of corn in a rainbow of colors is beyond me!

To think that flint corn can be used to make so many delicious dishes like polenta, hominy, purple corn chips, which I love, and of course, popcorn.

Thanks to the Native Americans for their patience and work in domesticating flint corn.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.