It is not unusual to be a tad bit curious about what does cornstarch taste like! This white creamy ingredient creates a kind of interest in our minds about its taste. What does it taste like then? Is it sweet or is it salty, or is it savory, or what?
Basically, cornstarch has no taste of its own, and it tastes like raw flour mixed with a small amount of water. Or in other words, it tastes like flour paste.
Now, you might be thinking about how to differentiate between cornstarch and flour then! Besides, people also ask if adding cornstarch can change the flavor of the dish and whether you can remove this taste or not. In this article, I will explain all these issues briefly. So, to have a clear overview of all these facts, please read the entire article.
Does Cornstarch Have Any Taste?
Actually, cornstarch does not have any taste. It tastes like flour paste. Like any other starch, it has a sticky, thick consistency. So, when you taste it, it gives you that neutral flavor of any kind of starch.
A lot of people even taste cornstarch out of curiosity; Especially for foodies, it is really a kind of guilty pleasure to check out the taste of all ingredients in food, even if it is raw chicken or simply cornstarch! To clear out the myths about cornstarch, I suggest you read the next part!
What Is Cornstarch?
To be fair, cornstarch is a paste made from corn or maize kernels. It is also popular as maize starch. It started to gain popularity in the early 20th century. Before that, the use of starch was restricted to only laundry purposes. In fact, starch was used to treat different kinds of clothing materials! It is as weird as that sounds!
However, later on, facts revealed that the same kind of starch could be obtained from maize or corn. Basically, the endosperm of maize kernels was crushed to form powdered corn, and this powder is actually corn flour. It becomes cornstarch when you make a paste out of it in different proportions!
The endosperm of corn kernels is the storehouse of all kinds of essential nutrients for the growing seed. So, naturally, cornflour or cornstarch made from these kernels is very nutritious. They contain an ample amount of minerals and carbs, required for your health!
Where Is Cornstarch Used Then?
If you are a little unfamiliar with cooking, this may actually surprise you! The soup you eat at restaurants and the gravy you devour without guilt require cornstarch! The paste-like consistency and the starchy nature helps to thicken your soup or the gravy or the sauce you take alongwith!
For this purpose, at first, a bowl of lukewarm water is taken, and some cornstarch is added. After proper mixing, this mixture is added to the dish as a whole. Then, you must constantly stir it.
It is done instead of adding cornstarch directly to your pot of soup while cooking. Actually, it is due to the fact that when you add a premade mixture, the cornstarch gets evenly distributed to every part of the solution.
But when you add cornstarch directly to your pot, there is a great chance that the starch will not mix evenly. This may result in clumping and clotting of starch in places! So, this method is popular in adding cornstarch to dishes like veggie soup, or Thai soup, gravies, any dessert, cookies, baked items, etc.
So, How Does It Taste Then?
Actually, it tastes like the dish you put it in. You won't get a separate taste for cornstarch if you are making cookies. You will only taste sweet and delicious cookies! In the same way, if you add cornstarch to soup, there is no unique taste of cornstarch in it. It simply tastes like savory, sour, and salty soup.
It is neither sweet nor sour. I wouldn't even say it is bitter. It has a neutral flavor that can take the taste of any dish it will be added to. Some would say it has a mild basic or acrid taste. Actually, it depends on the composition. So, check the list of ingredients on the back of the package. Also, check the store you bought it from! Different stores package differently.
Cornstarch has no taste, and it mostly resembles flour. If you make a paste or batter with flour and a batter with cornstarch, you can tell it for yourself. There is hardly any difference! You can experiment with this yourself at home.
But there are people who eat too much cornstarch and have developed this into a bad habit. Also, some people with Pica syndrome often eat cornstarch raw, without any reason. It comes impulsively and needs to get medical attention if it causes terrible symptoms!
Is It Good To Eat Raw Cornstarch?
Basically, no healthy people would develop eating raw cornstarch as a habit. You would definitely not want to have a neutral taste by force of habit. And it is not healthy either.
Moreover, cornstarch is simply a carbohydrate. Starch is a complex carbohydrate. There are two kinds of cornstarch in the market. One is the refined one, and the other is non-refined. The refined one is better in terms of usage and nutritional values.
Consuming any kind of carb without any reason, or simply plain or raw, is bad for your health. Why add the extra calories when you can entirely avoid this choice! Carbs are always bad for health, and you must avoid them as much as possible—however, some link cornstarch as a beneficial ingredient for people with Type II Diabetes Mellitus.
So, yes, you can take cornstarch with your meals as a partial ingredient. But do not go on consuming raw cornstarch. Undoubtedly, it is not suitable for your health. If you think you have developed a pattern, you should get some medical advice about this.
Do Cornstarch And Flour Taste The Same?
Actually, cornstarch and flour have the same kind of consistency and purpose of usage. But if you pay close attention, you can definitely differentiate between the two ingredients as per taste.
Corn flour, the primary ingredient from which the starch is made, looks exactly like plain flour. It is well refined and has the same white and fine granules. Just by inspection, it is hard to separate the two. However, the taste can be the real game-changer here!
Flour usually has a lumpy taste. Comparatively, it is less refined and more granular. Cornstarch makes a thin paste, and the mixture it makes is so even and saturated. So, it is less granular.
Besides, when you add a cup of cornstarch mixed water to your soup, you will see it dissolve in no time. But if you use flour instead, it will take time to mix evenly. Sometimes, hard lumps form, which becomes hard to break up in the middle of cooking. The taste can also change if such situations arise.
Flour and cornstarch both are carbohydrates. So, both taste like carbs mostly. When you put it in your mouth, your taste buds identify the starch molecules, which are then broken down in your gut by the enzymes. However, cornstarch is hundred percent gluten-free. So, unlike having something flour-made, you don't have to remain worried about consuming gluten!
Most importantly, it tastes more or less the same. Besides, some cornstarch has a peculiar corn-like flavor in them. So, in these cases, you can easily differentiate. But in most cases, if you are not an expert, it is definitely not your cup of tea to separate the two, just by tasting!
Can You Remove The Taste Of Cornstarch?
Cornstarch is used as a thickening ingredient in dishes. There is no need to overpower your dish with cornstarch. So, even if you have added more cornstarch to the amounts more than necessary, it is not the end of the world! Chances are, you might not even understand the difference in taste!
However, there are techniques by which you can remove the taste of excess cornstarch in your dish. If it bothers you that much, obviously, you can do things.
Sometimes, people end up adding a whole box of cornstarch while making sauce or dips, or even soup. It happens mostly because the consistency of the paste you add is so fine and thin that you can't understand how much difference it is making.
You also need to constantly stir the dish while adding. Otherwise, lumps may form quickly. Also, please keep it in low heat. Once lumps start to form, it becomes hard to dissolve them again and again to achieve the desired consistency.
So, when you end up adding a bucket of cornstarch, sometimes the dish may taste chalky. What you can do here is, heat the dish properly to let the extra cornstarch gelatinize. When it gelatinizes, it gradually starts to separate from the dish. Ultimately, the chalky taste disappears. It takes patience to achieve this. So, don't lose hope if your dish is taking time!
The most important thing to remember here is that you must follow a thumb's rule in general for the addition of cornstarch. It is that you should add two tablespoons for one cup of mixture. It will give you a nice not so thick, not so thin consistency. But if you are making soup or sauce, add 20 grams of cornstarch mixture for two cups of sauce.
If you exceed limits, there is a great chance that your dish will get ruined. It may have a consistency thicker than necessary and may taste chalky and acrid. Now, you know how to remove this excess cornstarch. Try it out yourself!
Can Addition Of Cornstarch Change The Flavor Of Any Food?
As I mentioned earlier, it takes the taste of the dish you are adding it to. Basically, cornstarch is added for texture and consistency. It has nothing to do with the flavor of the food.
In fact, there is a widespread opinion that cornstarch is virtually tasteless. It has no taste of its own. It looks beautiful as if someone made a paste out of some fine baby powder! However, the taste is neutral, and it is neither spicy nor sweet nor sour or bitter.
So, adding cornstarch to food items will only change the consistency of the dish. As it has no flavor of its own, the question of imparting any new flavor in the dish gets canceled by default.
However, there is flavored cornstarch now available in the market. Some may even come with a bit of salt added to them. It helps to make doughs out of cornstarch, especially because you often forget to add salt to doughs. Also, it helps in making other dishes too. So, apart from the mild salty or savory taste, there is not much difference.
Cornstarch is a popular and quite useful ingredient for our meals. So, the thing that is making such tasty delicacies can often raise queries in our minds about itself! It is pretty interesting to know what does cornstarch tastes like! I am sure you tasted it out yourself once or twice, even before reading this article!
Although it has no taste of its own, it has been creating wonderful dishes since time immemorial! I hope this article helped you gain some perspectives about cornstarch and how it tastes. Thank you for reading the entire article with patience. So, prepare a nice dish with cornstarch today! Have a nice day!