Well, it’s not actually world food day (which is on the 16th of October)… G1 is having an International Food Day at school so the children can learn about the traditional foods from other countries. The parents have been invited to bring along food from their home country so the children can experience the different tastes from around the world. Since my country is already over-represented – and I don’t have any authentic recipes to share anyway – I didn’t think I had anything of value to share.
When the school asked again for volunteers to help, I offered to masquerade as one of the countries that had not been represented. Either out of sheer desperation or perhaps it was an unwillingness to hurt my feelings, they accepted my offer to make cornbread from the US (Europe already had plenty of representatives so they declined my madeleines and spaghetti bolognaise).
According to wikipedia, cornbread originated with the Native Americans. It became very popular during the Civil War because it was cheap and could be made in many different forms. The type I made appears to be the high-rising, sweetened cornbread that is more popular in the North.
The history of cornbread dates back to the native Americans who learned to dry and grind corn into corn meal, the basic component of cornbread. When mixed with eggs and corn flour, the easiest and simplest of cornbreads can be made. Thin, dense, and flat, it was just the way to transport healthy food for long distances over periods of time without all the weight.
Modern cornbread is made in much the same way but now there are many ways to cook cornbread and there are many different varieties of cornbread. The Mexican culture has brought about variations, such as jalapeño cornbread and peppered cornbread which are very popular in Central Texas. Cornbread muffins and sweet cornbread are very popular in the Northeast.
Modern Americans associate cornbread with several celebrations, including Thanksgiving and the 4th of July.
You can read more about it here.
Nutritional Value of Cornbread
Since cornmeal is a wholegrain, you get the benefits of fiber – including the absorption of cholesterol and lowering of blood sugars.
Corn bread contains all 10 of the essential amino acids, building blocks for proteins that control growth, cellular processes and organ function. – Live Strong
It is also a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, folic acid, folates and vitamins A, B-6 and B-12. Cornmeal is also rich in antioxidants that reduce the risk of cancers, heart disease and stroke. It may even slow the aging process.
“bioaccessibility” of carotenoids was the same or exceeded the levels of a wide variety of foods previously valued for their antioxidant availability — including vegetables such as spinach and carrots. – Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (August 2011)
So lots of good reasons to eat cornbread…
Grandmother’s Buttermilk Cornbread
G2 has always had a fondness for corn so I have been experimenting with a few cornbread recipes in the past – albeit rather unsuccessful. To be honest, I haven’t found a working recipe yet so I thought I’d better do a trial run before the school event. This is a recipe from Allrecipes.com with the promising title – Grandmother’s Buttermilk Cornbread. Anything from grandma has got to be good, right?
I gave it a whirl and here’s how it turned out…
It’s sort of like butter cake texture but with the more aromatic flavour of corn. Not that I’m any expert of cornbread, but I thought it turned out pretty well. Let’s hope everyone one else thinks so, too…