Published on August 22, 2011 by Amy
We all have the Native Americans to thank for corn bread. Its humble beginnings can be traced back to the Indians that the European settlers came in contact with when they first arrived in America. However, it stands to reason that the Native Americans have been making corn bread long before that.
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The Indians used corn ground into meal and flour for years in their cooking. Corn was a major food source so they were very creative in its usage. Because the white settlers were dependent on the natural resources, they too, adopted the practice of making corn bread. A surge in popularity around Civil War time was inevitable as corn was plentiful and cheap. Corn bread and other meals made from corn were easy to make.
Because there were special varieties of corn grown throughout North America, the corn bread differed by region. In the southwest areas, blue corn was popular. The northern regions favored the yellow corn and the south had white corn. In addition, the preparations in making corn bread differed too.
In the beginning, when a lot of supplies were scarce, the Indians made corn bread from a simple mixture of water, salt and cornmeal. The recipe graduated to using variety of sweetener products like sugar, honey or molasses for northern corn bread. The south tended to steer clear of the sweetened corn bread and favored using fat from bacon or lard.
Because of some of the natural components in the corn, there is no need to use yeast to get the corn bread to rise. This property makes it one of America’s favorite quick breads. These days, you can still make corn bread from scratch. However, there are a number of varieties of corn bread mixes available these days from your local grocery store. Corn bread, once a major part of a diet, is now a southern accompanying favorite to almost any meal.