Before embarking on your own culinary hominy adventure, you first need to find dried hominy. Of course, you can always grow it yourself, but that requires months of planning which you may or may not have already done.
In case you haven’t grown your own, here are some of the places I’ve had the most success finding dried hominy (in order of personal preference):
- Your friendly neighborhood tienda. In Tuscaloosa, we have no less than six tiendas that I’ve checked out. All carry cans of Juanita’s Mexican style hominy, and four out of the six carry multiple kinds of dried maize suitable for making your own posole or hominy. Some even have beautiful heirloom corns in various colors. Typically, these are varieties are large with thin seed coats, which makes them relatively easy to process.
- The Internet. Of course the Internet, right? Sites like Rancho Gordo and Anson Mills offer reasonable amounts of hominy (about 1 lb.) for reasonable prices, though shipping may be a bit costly. Unfortunately, each only offers a single kind of hominy, and you may be in the mood for a more adventurous experience. If so, you can easily broaden your search and check out other vendors, but keep the following in mind: you do not want to purchase dried sweet corn if you plan to nixtamalize your maize. Flints, flours, dents, and pops are better suited for nixtamalization. In fact, while flints were the preferred variant used in the historic Eastern Woodlands, Anthony Boutard, author of Beautiful Corn, indicates Amish Butter, a pop, is one of his favorite for making hominy. Also, make sure the grain is food grade, especially if you’re buying in bulk. Corn is the number one food used for animal fodder, so a lot of what you may come across is intended for livestock. For my own research purposes, I purchased a 50 lb. bag from Honeyville Farms, which has made a delicious and colorful hominy over and over again, but have since tried a number of different corns from various vendors.
- And finally, you can always try your local Farmer’s Market, or even your local grocery store. At our Farmer’s Market, no one sells hominy corn, but there are several who sell their own corn meal from flour corns they’ve grown. However, some farms are beginning to branch into heirloom corns, including flints. Ayers Creek Farm, located in Gaston, Oregon, and a regular at multiple Portland-area farmers markets, has been at the forefront of cultivating multiple varieties of maize.
While ornamental Indian corn is the same as hominy corn, DO NOT buy corn marketed as ornamental and try to process/cook it. First, these cobs are usually covered in glue to keep the kernels attached. Second, most have been treated with various substances to maintain their sheen and luster. In short, they aren’t edible.