Blue cornmeal pancakes with pine nuts are distinctly New Mexican, and you would be hard-pressed to find them outside of New Mexico unless they’re made by very creative chefs like Bobby Flay. They’re always a hit at the Bottger Mansion of Old Town. We use real maple syrup and garnish the pancakes with blueberries and additional pine nuts.
What is blue cornmeal?
Blue corn has been grown by the New Mexico pueblo Indians for generations. It’s very drought tolerant and hardy. As with other dried corn, it is ground into a meal, traditionally by hand. Wikipedia says it has a much higher protein content than traditional yellow cornmeal. It does have a rather nuttier flavor.
What can I make with blue cornmeal?
Blue cornmeal pancakes are one of our house specialty breakfast offerings, served with real maple syrup, butter, and blueberries. Sometimes we serve it with a house-made prickly pear syrup. If you think about any recipe you would make that uses traditional cornmeal, you could try it with blue cornmeal. Occasionally we also serve blue cornmeal muffins or cornbread made with blue cornmeal. Older folks in New Mexico grew up eating blue cornmeal mush, like a hot breakfast cereal. Another local favorite is atole, which is a hot beverage made with brown sugar and cinnamon, thickened with cornmeal or corn flour.
Where can I buy blue cornmeal?
When we lived in Albuquerque in the early 1980’s, we could buy blue cornmeal at any grocery store in 2-pound bags. Over time, blue cornmeal has become more of a specialty item and the large grocery stores no longer carry it. For a while, the Whole Foods stores in Albuquerque carried blue cornmeal in the bulk section, but they have discontinued it there. Whole Foods carried Bob’s Red Mill blue cornmeal in packages in the baking aisle. Fortunately, we are also able to buy blue cornmeal in bulk at the La Montanita Food Co-Op.
Blue cornmeal is trending on the national food scene! Depending on where you live, you may be able to buy blue corn tortillas and blue corn chips. If you’re unable to find blue cornmeal or pine nuts locally, you can purchase them online.