What the Heck Is Hominy, and How Do You Prepare It?

In our Farmers’ Fiesta display at the front of the store, bags of dried hominy are mixed in with the dried beans.

This got us talking.

We all have memories of hominy … maybe our mother served it when we were growing up or we had it once in a restaurant out West. But most of us don’t cook it regularly. Why? Because we don’t know what to do with it.

Dried hominy by Rancho Gordo (ranchogordo.com).

If you’re reading this and thinking, “what the heck is hominy, anyway?” don’t worry, you’re not alone. Hominy is dried corn that’s been soaked in limewater (the mineral, not the fruit) to remove the hull and germ. This causes the germ to swell, a process called nixtamalization. The treatment makes the corn product easier to digest and adds to its flavor. Here’s an interesting article that breaks down the process, if you’re curious.

Hominy is used to make corn tortillas and is a key ingredient in many of our favorite Mexican recipes. Pozole Verde is probably the most popular dish that features hominy. (If you haven’t made dinner plans for Cinco de Mayo, you could try this recipe by Food & Wine). But you can also prepare hominy with just butter, salt, and pepper.

Interestingly, there’s evidence that hominy was eaten in Mesoamerica as early as 1500 BC. So it’s been around for a long, long time.

What does it taste like? Plump and chewy with a unique nutty-sweet flavor. You can buy it dry or canned (we carry both).

Holidays are great incentive to dig out an old favorite … or try something new.

If you’re feeling inspired, here are a few recipes you might want to try this weekend:

Warm Hominy Salad

Chilaquiles Casserole

Pork and Hominy Stew

Mexican Chicken Pozole Verde

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!