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 from 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 Maize Meal?

By Amanda Livingstone
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.

A type of food product made from dried corn kernels is commonly known as maize meal or cornmeal. This meal is ground into three texture varieties, which are fine, medium and coarse. Corn or maize that is finely ground is referred to as corn flour, while medium ground maize is the most commercially available. Yellow or white coarse varieties of maize are called polenta, and this texture is often used for various snacks, meals and desserts.

Maize meal is used for a large variety of cooking purposes. Some use it as a wheat flour replacement, while others use it to create a thick breading. The way the meal is used will largely depend on the texture and the food to be cooked. Corn flour, which is often mistaken for cornstarch, is ground from the whole kernel. White corn flour is used in many gluten-free foods, including pastry items such as cookies and cakes; the flour can also be used as a food filler, binder and thickener.

Medium-textured maize meal is generally too coarse to be used in certain foods such as pancakes and cakes. This variety of cornmeal is often used in cornbread. Coarse meal is similar to the medium variety except it has a rougher texture.

Maize meal with a coarse texture is also known as polenta in Italian cuisine. It is also used in Indian foods such as breads, rotis and vadis. This texture is also used to make what is referred to as "grits," a popular, traditional dish from the southern part of the United States. Coarsely ground maize can be used to make a breading for fish, shrimp and meats. Due to its gritty, harder feel, some prefer to use a less coarse texture for this purpose, however.

All textures and varieties of ground maize are used throughout the world, but each geographical region has its cultural preferences. In the United States yellow maize is stone ground without the husk and germ kernel. Yellow maize meal has more flavor and nutrition due to retaining some of the hull and germ. The ground yellow maize is usually stored in an airtight cool and dry container.

Ground maize also comes in light blue or violet varieties, which is the result of milling blue corn. The corn is sometimes mixed with cedar ash then ground finely or coarsely. For Southwestern Native Americans, blue corn holds a significant spiritual importance. In the Navajo culture, blue corn is a traditional healing food.

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.

Discussion Comments

By bluedolphin — On Jun 09, 2013

@anamur-- I don't know about insects, but polenta meal does protect against fungi in the garden. I use it in the spring, I just sprinkle it around my plants.

I heard it's bad for young plants though, so you might want to ask someone more knowledgeable about that. It has worked in my garden and I think it's a great all natural and cheap alternative to garden anti-fungal treatments.

By serenesurface — On Jun 08, 2013

Aside from using it to make one of my favorite foods, corn dogs, I heard from a friend that corn meal can be used in the garden to protect plants from insects and fungus. Is this true? How do I use it?

By ddljohn — On Jun 08, 2013

I know the Southern states love their grits, but aside from this region of the country, Americans don't consume much maize meal. This is probably a good thing because maize meal is not very nutritious. In some countries, especially in South American and Africa, maize meal is the most prevalent starch. But because it's not very high in nutrients, people who rely on maize meal or maize flour for most of their meals can develop malnutrition.

I saw this with my own eyes in South Africa. The poverty-stricken areas eat a lot of maize meal and the kids look malnourished.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

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

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

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