What is Hominy?

If you've ever made pozole (posole) or menudo, you've probably had to pick up a can of hominy at the grocery store. It's located in the canned food section among the canned green beans and peas and tastes like sweet corn without the bite. But it's not just another can of corn, so what is hominy?

What is Hominy?

According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, hominy is corn kernels that have had the hull and germ removed using an alkali solution such as lye or lime. Soft and chewy, hominy is then either served as is or ground into masa, which is the base of many Mexican dishes such as corn tortillas and tamales. It can also be made into hominy grits which are delicious served with butter, salt, and pepper.

To make hominy, field corn is dried, then soaked in a solution of either sodium hydroxide (lye, which can be produced using wood ash) or slaked lime (a combination of calcium hydroxide from limestone). Once soaked and cooked through, the corn is washed thoroughly to remove the bitter flavor of the lime solution. The cooked and soaked corn is then canned or ground.

Hominy in Recipes

Lyndsay Burginger

Recently the American Cancer Society released a new quick and healthy cookbook featuring everyday recipes, one of which, includes hominy. According to the press release, studies have shown that meals cooked at home tend to be healthier than those eaten out. This 50-recipe cookbook features nutritious and healthy recipes for your whole family to enjoy, including this recipe for chicken soup with fire-roasted tomatoes & hominy.

To make, cook 12 ounces of chicken breast in a large saucepan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add in 1 can of hominy, 1 can of fire-roasted tomatoes, 3 cups of water, and 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove the soup from the heat and top with chopped avocado and cilantro. Serve and enjoy.