Holy Hominy

2 Dec

Holy Hominy

Have you heard of hominy? It’s made by removing the outer covering of corn and then soaking that kernel in an alkali medium, usually lye. Familiar hominy dishes include posole, menudo and hominy grits.

Pellagra skin lesions

Soaking corn in basic solutions – such as limewater (calcium hydroxide lime that is – not the fruit) releases the B vitamin niacin that is otherwise bound in non-treated corn products.

This process – called nixtamalization – explains why Aztec and Mayan populations who treated their corn with limewater to prepare masa and tortillas did not suffer from pellagra (the niacin deficiency disease) whereas their straight corn-eating counterparts did.

Pellagra is a nasty vitamin deficiency disease that is characterized by the “4 D’s”:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dermatitis
  • Dementia
  • Death

At first glance, hominy looks like a low-fiber starch bomb; however, hominy is surprisingly low in calories for the amount of fiber it yields: 4 grams in a one-cup 115-calorie serving.

If you want to ease yourself into eating hominy, try this outstanding posole recipe, submitted by Gringo Chef Extraordinaire Kelly O’Connor:

Gringo Posole

  • 1 pork shoulder
  • 3 14-oz cans hominy
  • 4 6-oz cans salsa verde
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Radishes, cilantro and lime to garnish


  • Brown pork shoulder in pan and put in slow cooker or pressure cooker until it’s done and shreds easily
  • Cook onions and garlic in pork pan
  • Add green salsa and cook for a few minutes
  • Add chicken broth, shred pork and add to soup
  • Drain hominy and add to soup
  • Simmer
  • Serve with shredded lettuce, radishes, cilantro and lime

One Response to “Holy Hominy”

  1. nancy December 17, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    this is a great recipe might want to try regular how many with olive oil sesame seeds the lunch will my new salt and pepper swirled together with navy plum tomatoes is so delicious no cooking actually required

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