Have you seen someone eat cornstarch out of the box? Or have you heard someone say that they’re craving cornstarch? If yes, you might be wondering what does cornstarch taste like?
If that’s the case, then why do some people crave it? Read this article to discover the intriguing answer! Plus, you’ll also learn the answers to these questions:
Cornstarch may taste bland, but you need to know many interesting facts about it.
Are you ready to find out what these are? Continue reading!
What Is Cornstarch? How Is It Made?
Also known as maize starch, cornstarch is a type of starch that’s produced from corn kernels. This starch’s most notable characteristic is that it thickens when it’s exposed to high temperatures. Since this is pure starch, it’s considered one of the cooking industry’s best and most efficient thickening agents.
What are the Health Benefits of Cornstarch?
Since this starch is produced from the corn’s endosperm and not the bran, it lacks nutritional value.
However, it has one clear advantage: it’s gluten-free. Because of this, it’s the thickener of choice for people with gluten allergies or celiac disease.
- Warning: Cornstarch may be at risk of cross-contamination if the cornstarch brands also make flour products. This is because there’s a chance that they are using the same equipment in producing and processing the products. The cornstarch they manufacture might not precisely be gluten-free if this is the case.
What are the Drawbacks of Consuming Cornstarch?
Like most food items, the consumption of cornstarch comes with a few drawbacks too. Here they are:
1. May increase blood sugar levels.
Like flour, cornstarch is also rich in carbs and has a high glycemic index. (*) In addition to that, it’s low insoluble fiber.
As a result, your body can easily digest cornstarch which may cause spikes in your blood sugar level. Because of this, people with diabetes should consume dishes with cornstarch only in moderation.
2. Lacks vital nutrients.
Cornstarch is packed with carbs and calories and doesn’t contain any vitamins and minerals. That’s why it’s highly recommended that you pair it with nutrient-dense food items.
3. May cause allergies.
Remember that cornstarch is produced from corn, so it’s not recommended for people with corn allergies.
Why Do People Eat Corn Starch?
Corn starch is a type of carbohydrate that is digested slowly and helps to regulate blood sugar levels. It also provides dietary fiber, which is important for digestive health. Additionally, corn starch is gluten free and can be a good option for people with food allergies or sensitivities.
What Does Cornstarch Taste Like?
Even though cornstarch is made from corn, it doesn’t taste like corn. In short, it doesn’t have corn’s, natural sweetness.
Instead, here’s what it tastes like: It’s bland, like flour and other types of starches. In short, it has a neutral flavor.
What’s remarkable about cornstarch is its texture. Unlike flour and other starches that are a bit coarse and gritty, cornstarch is fine and powdery. Its texture is similar to that of powdered sugar. And when mixed with water, it becomes creamy and moist.
Did You Know?
Here’s why we consider cornstarch bland and neutral-tasting: As soon as we consume cornstarch, the starch is converted into sugars which causes our taste buds to tingle. However, upon entering the digestive system, it’s absorbed by the body for energy and leaves no residue behind.
Can Cornstarch Change the Flavor of Food?
No, it doesn’t. As mentioned, cornstarch is flavorless so it won’t affect the flavor of your dish. Since it’s a thickening agent, it can only affect your dishes by changing their consistency.
I’m Craving for Cornstarch. What Does it Mean?
If cornstarch has no taste, then why am I craving it? That sounds weird, right? Yes, it is, but there’s a possible explanation for it.
Here it goes: what you’re experiencing is pica, which is an eating disorder in which a person craves for and eats nonfood items like flaking paint, clay, dirt, and cornstarch. (*)
Did you know?
There is no scientific evidence as to why pica occurs. However, these unusual cravings might be a way of your body telling you that you have nutritional deficiencies.
What are the Different Ways to Use Cornstarch?
Surprise: cornstarch is not just a thickening agent. It has a wide range of uses in the cooking industry. Its function goes beyond cooking applications. We’ve compiled some of the common uses of cornstarch below:
How to Use Cornstarch for Cooking
You may have already used cornstarch as a thickening agent if you love to cook. Well, let us expand your knowledge about cornstarch. Here are more ways to use cornstarch in the kitchen:
Yes, cornstarch is one of the best ingredients for thickening your dishes. In addition to making your gravies and dips thicker, it gives a denser texture to other dishes like soups, stews, cheese, custard, and yogurt.
2. Breading Ingredient
We’ve got a hack for those who love chicken nuggets and other crispy breaded items: use cornstarch.
Since cornstarch is considered sturdy starch, it also does a fantastic job producing a lacy and crispy crust on different dishes like fried chicken, chicken nuggets, and many more. Adding it to waffle batter can also give waffles a crispy crust.
3. Anti-caking Substance
Do you love buying shredded cheeses? Us too! It’s convenient, after all. However, there’s one issue with it—it gets either clumpy or slimy over time.
- Hack: Lightly dust the cheese with cornstarch to prevent them from caking.
4. Flour Substitute
If you run out of flour, you can use cornstarch as an alternative since they are both flavorless. In addition, you can use it to substitute almost all flours and starches—potato starch, tapioca starch, rice flour, and arrowroot flour.
5. Egg Add-ons
If you want to whip up fluffy eggs, adding cornstarch is one of the best hacks.
Other Surprising Uses of Cornstarch
If you think that the use of cornstarch is just for cooking, you’re wrong. You can also use it for other applications like:
1. Production of Medical Supplies
Cornstarch is also used as an anti-sticking agent for various medical supplies like gloves, condoms, and diaphragms.
2. Household Chores
You can also use cornstarch in freshening your carpet, natural starch for ironing your clothes, stain remover, degreaser, silverware polish, and many more.
3. Slime Production
If you plan on making slime for your little ones, don’t forget about cornstarch. With a small amount of cornstarch, a. bit of food coloring, and glitters, you can create a slime that can keep your kids busy for hours.
4. Skin Irritation Remedy
If you have rashes, sunburn, and other types of skin irritation, cornstarch can help address it. You just need to mix it with cold water to form a paste, then apply it to the affected area.
5. Matte Nail Polish
You can make matte nail polish at home by mixing a small amount of regular nail polish on a paper plate. Sprinkle a dash of cornstarch into it then. Blend the two ingredients, and you’ve got yourself a beautiful matte nail polish!
Cornstarch Cooking Tips You Need to Know
Cooking with cornstarch seems pretty easy. However, it may form lumps that can affect your dishes’ overall texture when it isn’t cooked right. To avoid that, here are some of the tips to keep in mind:
1. Create a slurry first.
Don’t add the cornstarch directly to the boiling soup, as there’s a high chance that it will produce a clumpy and grainy texture. Instead, mix the cornstarch with cold water to create a slurry, then pour it into the soup.
Pro Tip: Make sure to add the slurry to the simmering soup, and don’t forget to stir the soup constantly after adding it.
2. Whip the cornstarch thoroughly.
Cornstarch will also create lumps when it isn’t stirred properly. However, make sure that you stop stirring once the mixture thickens because continuous stirring will cause the starch molecules to break down. When this happens, the soup’s thin consistency will return.
3. Don’t add cornstarch to acidic liquids.
If your dishes are based on acidic liquids like lemon juice and vinegar, you may not be able to thicken them with cornstarch.
Wrapping It Up
Well, cornstarch doesn’t taste like anything. It’s flavorless. The main reason it’s widely used in the cooking industry is its ability to thicken different types of dishes. Additionally, it’s also a gluten-free substitute flour.
Cornstarch will surely be an excellent addition to your kitchen pantry when cooked right. We highly recommend that you follow all of the cooking tips we’ve shared with you in this article.
- Cornstarch Shelf Life: Does It Go Bad or Expire?
- What Tastes Exactly Like Cornstarch? The Best Cornstarch Substitutes