Both corn flour and cornmeal are made out of ground corn, although both have different textures, nutrients and color. There are a few disparities between cornmeal and corn flour terms and people sometimes use them interchangeably. However, this is greatly affected by the location.
In the US, cornmeal and corn flour are the same. Generally, corn flour is the finer version of cornmeal, as it has a finer texture. In the UK, corn flour is also called cornstarch. However, in other areas, corn flour is totally different from cornstarch.
What Is Corn Flour?
Corn flour is made from the ground corn kernels of white, yellow or blue corn, which produce fine powder. The white color from white corn is usually seen in Africa, while the yellow texture from yellow corn is common in the US, and the blue yellow flour comes from rare blue corn.
Commonly called cornstarch in the UK, it is used for sauce thickening, making bread, or breading items for frying. When you're baking, you will have heavier bread if you use corn flour instead of wheat. For bread, you can use regular flour instead.
Cornstarch is generally gluten-free and preferred by people who want to have a protein diet. However, as it is entirely carbohydrate, it is considered to have little nutritional value.
What Is Cornmeal?
Compared to corn flour, cornmeal has a coarse texture without the corn skin or germ. It is made from corn kernels that are ground into a course powder.
It is used for safe cooking and considered by Colorado State University Research as good for patients with celiac disease or people with a gluten intolerance, since it contains no gluten.
Cornmeal also provides more essential nutrients than corn flour does. It is used for making quick bread and bread with a cake-like texture. It is also used for dusting greased pans since it helps to stop the bread from sticking to the pan. Apart from this, it gives the crust of the bread a crunch and additional flavor. Corn meal is really recommended for these purposes. However, if you don’t have any, you use corn flour or any other regular flours as a substitute.
Although both contain health benefits for your body, there are significant differences between the two. Whether they are very good to use or not, depends entirely on your choice and preferences.
Here’s a summary of the similarities of corn meal and corn flour, and the differences between them:
- Corn flour is a more finely ground than cornmeal, but cornmeal is healthier.
- Corn flour gives soup a strong taste and so it’s not recommended that you use it in this way.
- Cornmeal provides more essential nutrients than corn flour.