Corn and nixtamalization

Discussion in 'Open Forum With Harold McGee' started by castironchef, Dec 17, 2005.

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  1. castironchef

    castironchef

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    Culinary Instructor
    I am fascinated by your discussion of the necessity of cooking corn with alkali ("nixtamalization") in order to release the niacin and mention that societies that did not do that often had pellagra as result of nutrient deficiency. (pp. 454 & 478 on the revised On Food & Cooking.)

    Should modern cooks be concerned about cooking corn with alkali? Is niacin the only nutrient which this process frees? Do we get enough from other sources so that worrying about corn-based niacin foolish?

    Thanks again for all the wonderful responses this week.
     
  2. harold mcgee

    harold mcgee

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    No need to worry about releasing vitamins from corn or other foods in the mixed diet most of us eat—nixtamalization was important because many people were trying to survive on corn and little else.

    Harold
     
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