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Cornmeal is made of ground yellow corn ranging in texture from fine to coarse grounds. Most yellow cornmeal, especially the kind found in U.S. supermarkets, is made from dent corn, which has a high starch content and prominent corny texture. While cornmeal is most commonly used in cornbread, it forms a delicious, crispy crust on fish, chicken, and mozzarella sticks. Cornmeal is processed either through a stone ground, which produces a coarser texture and more artisanal product, or steel rollers which produce a finer ground, removes the germ and bran, and makes it shelf-stable.
Since cornmeal is only made with dried maize, it is gluten-free. However, there’s always a chance that the cornmeal was processed in the same facility as gluten products, so be sure read your labels. Traditional cornmeal-based recipes like corn muffins, corn bread, and southern hoe cakes do contain gluten.