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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hominy or Hulled Corn

When Captains Lewis and Clark met with the starving Shoshone Indians, they gifted them with a quantity of "lyed corn."

Lyed corn is made by soaking corn kernels in a weak lye bath that removes the kernel's hull. Today we sometimes call this "hominy." It is also known as posole or pozole in different cultures. Grits are made by grinding up the hominy. White hominy comes from white corn and yellow hominy is made from yellow corn.

White Hominy
I grew up eating hominy and thought everyone knew what it was. But when I moved up north more than 30 years ago (and still love north of Kansas where I grew up) I learned that many people weren't familiar with it.

I like to eat hominy slathered in butter. And I love grits, too. I have a friend who grew up in the deep south who must eat his grits with salt, pepper and cheese while I prefer mine with brown sugar or honey and butter. It just depends on how you grew up eating them. 

If you've never tried hominy, I highly recommend you try it! It's quite tasty and has an interesting texture unlike anything else I can compare it to. It's also very good in stews and soups.


  1. And the natives didn't suffer from pellagra because the lye bath made niacin nutritionally available when the corn was consumed.

    For some reason, no native civilizations that consumed corn suffered from pellagra, but when western cultures integrated it into their diet they didn't understand the use of the alkaline baths. This means that they used corn to substitute a big part of their diets, their intake of niacin lowered and increased their odds of having pellagra.

  2. That's a fascinating bit of information. Thanks for sharing. :-)

  3. Lye is Hickory Ash according to my elderly grandmother who passed at the age of 93 years.

  4. Elsie Mae Flynn Robinson

  5. Elsie, thanks for letting us know about the hickory ash. That's a fascinating tidbit. And thanks for reading!


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