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Old 05-25-2011, 07:31 PM
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When i was a kid visiting my grandparents for the weekends, my grandma used to make us homemade traditional Polenta. I recently re-discovered the dish and thought i'd share this excellent prep food with the members here.

I was recently at the local SUPER Walmart and noticed they were selling 25lb bags of corn masa (de maíz) for $13! The good part about corn masa is its almost unlimited use in cooking. It's perfect for making tortillas, and you can also use it to make tamales, enchiladas, sopes, huaraches, quesadillas, gorditas, empañadas, flautas, Fritos, tortilla chips and many other Mexican and Central and South American dishes▬most of which are my personal favorite foods.. As well as corn muffins, grits and corn cakes. MMmmmm!!

The negative part about corn masa is that long-term storage time slightly affects the stability of of both vitamins and minerals. I ASSume it would remain stable longer if properly stored using o2 absorbers in 5-gal pails..

Anybody else stocking up on corn masa? How are ya storing it?
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:19 PM
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:22 PM
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Sorry, Filthy, nope!
Old 05-25-2011, 10:00 PM
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I keep my masa in the freezer. I don't use it very often and it takes me a long time to finish a bag.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:03 PM
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I'd be interested in knowing as well.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:40 PM
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I used to, but I just found ground wheat to be much cheaper and we cook with it more frequently because I can get it to rise without much work. I still have probably 30 pounds put away in a 5 g with seal lid and o2's, still tastes great.

I get ground wheat at the Indian stores for 6$ for a bag that weighs 20 pounds. Got an awful lot of that stuff.
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filthy_McNasty View Post
The negative part about corn masa is that long-term storage time slightly affects the stability of of both vitamins and minerals. I ASSume it would remain stable longer if properly stored using o2 absorbers in 5-gal pails..

Anybody else stocking up on corn masa? How are ya storing it?
Up here in the corn belt, a 50 pound sack of corn is about $8.75. I would store that the same way as wheat berries, in mylar with O2. Use the same grinder as with wheat berries. Whole oat grain is about the same price. Am looking into a source for rye, but may need to find a specialty farmer for that.

Agreed that corn is great and universally useful.

Didn't the pioneers in the east have a bread made with wheat and corn? Something called anadama or some such? It worked for them.
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Old 05-26-2011, 03:00 AM
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Just discussed this in length on another post recently. I do not make polenta from corn masa but I do use masa for tortillas. Masa is corn soaked in a lime water solution then dried and ground into a four. When I make polenta I use corn meal.
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Old 05-26-2011, 04:49 AM
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I use very large Ammo cans, Mylar bags, with O2.......we have Tortilla mix stored the same way. Both are very, very useful as tortillas only need water and a hot rock to make.
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Old 05-26-2011, 07:03 AM
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I keep some, but not a lot. Mylar and O2 absorbers.

I figure it's much like cornmeal for storage and keeps a long time if properly stored.
http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cgi-bin...ilename=79.pdf
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephpd View Post
I keep some, but not a lot. Mylar and O2 absorbers.

I figure it's much like cornmeal for storage and keeps a long time if properly stored.
http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cgi-bin...ilename=79.pdf
I think masa is a whole grain product. Most commercial cornmeal is refined and has had the oily germ removed (which is why it keeps so well - kind of like white flour). This is why I keep my masa in the freezer, along with my whole grain cornmeal. It is possible, though, that processing the corn with the lime might act as a preservative.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soo-girl View Post
I think masa is a whole grain product. Most commercial cornmeal is refined and has had the oily germ removed (which is why it keeps so well - kind of like white flour). This is why I keep my masa in the freezer, along with my whole grain cornmeal. It is possible, though, that processing the corn with the lime might act as a preservative.
What I've got is ground up and white. Don't see the whole grain treated with Lye around this part of the country.

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cookbook:Corn_Masa
Masa is finely ground nixtamal (corn treated with either slaked lime or lye, in a process called nixtamalization). It is not to be confused with cornstarch or cornmeal.

Corn masa is used to make corn tortillas and tamales. Like cornstarch, it can be used to thicken sauces.


http://www.walmart.com/search/search...h_constraint=0
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:52 AM
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I'd like to try making my own hominy sometime with lye. I guess you can also do it with baking soda, which would be safer for handling. Isn't masa just hominy dried and ground up?
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gallon View Post
Up here in the corn belt, a 50 pound sack of corn is about $8.75. I would store that the same way as wheat berries, in mylar with O2. Use the same grinder as with wheat berries. Whole oat grain is about the same price. Am looking into a source for rye, but may need to find a specialty farmer for that.

Agreed that corn is great and universally useful.

Didn't the pioneers in the east have a bread made with wheat and corn? Something called anadama or some such? It worked for them.
From what I've read whole oats can't be consumed by humans unless dehulled. How do you process it so it can be eaten by humans? Grinding it up won't remove the hulls.

For oats I usually just buy the big bags of the old fashioned type from Quaker and put it up in Mylar with O2 absorbers.
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
What I've got is ground up and white.
Yeah, my masa is fairly white, too. My corn flour is actually more yellow. My whole grain cornmeal is a deeper yellow with brown bits throughout. Yes, this is what I am doing this morning ... pulling my corn products from the freezer and comparing them. What a gripping life I do lead.

I wonder if you can buy masa that is actually whole grain? I've looked around online and can't really find anything conclusive.
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
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From what I've read whole oats can't be consumed by humans unless dehulled. How do you process it so it can be eaten by humans? Grinding it up won't remove the hulls.

For oats I usually just buy the big bags of the old fashioned type from Quaker and put it up in Mylar with O2 absorbers.
Good question. Thanks for the heads up, I hadn't worked that out. Best to figure it out before I get too many. I'll post here if I get a good answer.
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gallon View Post
Good question. Thanks for the heads up, I hadn't worked that out. Best to figure it out before I get too many. I'll post here if I get a good answer.
Just look for oat "groats", its the whole oat with the hull already removed and ready for human consumption. You can find them either raw or lightly toasted (which have a slightly more nutty taste).

You can soak them and eat them whole, grinding them into a course cereal (think steel cuts oats) or make them into flour. Steam them and you can rolled them out with a heavy pin to make your own oatmeal.
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:55 AM
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Thanks Cam. Yeah, I think I agree with you that groats are the intermediate form that is useful. In the spirit of economical long term provisions I am interested in the bulk oats at 8 bucks for 50 pounds. Looks like some kind of hulling machine is needed to get the oats into consumable form. So far I have learned that the hulls are not digestible, so that would be some very serious fiber. As I dig around I find a lot of machines for sale, all in China so far.
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gallon View Post
Thanks Cam. Yeah, I think I agree with you that groats are the intermediate form that is useful. In the spirit of economical long term provisions I am interested in the bulk oats at 8 bucks for 50 pounds. Looks like some kind of hulling machine is needed to get the oats into consumable form. So far I have learned that the hulls are not digestible, so that would be some very serious fiber. As I dig around I find a lot of machines for sale, all in China so far.
You could feed them to a horse, and then eat the horse.

JUST KIDDING
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:05 PM
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Unlike corn meal which stores very well long term when properly packaged, masa seems to have a shorter storage life. I assume there are oils in it that aren't removed in the processing since masa by definition is a whole grain product.

In all fairness, my masa was packed before I knew of mylar, so there may have been O2 infiltration issues. But the other foods packed the same way showed no signs of oxidation. Whereas the masa went rancid pretty quick. 3 years was about tops. After that, rancidity was becoming very apparent. Mylar might or might not buy you another year or two, but I wouldn't bank on it. It's one of those foods that are going to need regular rotation.

It's a shame that it doesn't last longer. As the OP mentioned, it's extremely versatile. And having the niacin freed up by the liming process, it's also quite healthy.
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