Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Discovering North America - Cornbread

Cornbread is not very common in Europe, so I haven’t come across it much in my life. Indeed, even though I’ve been living in Canada for over a decade, I had never eaten it until recently. There are some foods that simply don’t register on my radar: I’m vaguely aware of their existence, but I never seem to get around to trying them.

Still, when I saw a recipe for cornbread in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, and read that, even though Peter Reinhart had originally meant to only write about leavened breads, he couldn’t resist including this one, I knew I had to try it. Buttermilk, corn, and bacon: how could this not taste good?

Since this was my very first time eating cornbread (not to mention making it), I can’t compare this one to anything else. All I’ll say is that it was indeed very satisfying, a lovely companion to carrot or butternut squash soup. The kernels of corn popped satisfyingly under the tooth, and the crunchy bacon added an essential saltiness. Despite the bacon, I was surprised at how sweet the bread. I don’t know if all cornbreads are this heavy on the honey (there was quite a bit of it here), but I wonder if I wouldn’t prefer something closer to a savoury bread. It’s worth a try, at any rate.

Nonetheless, I do declare, cornbread is a very good North American invention!


  1. I rarely have it but love corn bread too. If you do it again add a spicy ingredient...small chopped habanero, chilis flakes. Great combo.

  2. Cornbread seems to be a staple in main households..but I've yet to try it. Suppose we don't eat it much in Asia. And I know what you mean when you find a recipe you just HAVE to make...they're usually the best ones!

  3. I saw very recently another post about cornbread and was indeed thinking; I have never eaten cornbread or at least I can't remember! Maybe I should give it a try too.. I am getting curious as to how this will taste!

  4. Je n'ai jamais goûté de corn bread, mais je t'avoue que le tien a l'air plutôt délicieux. De plus, j'ai des adepte de bacon à la maison qui seraient très heureux par cette charmante recette.
    Bonne journée!

  5. Oh Valerie, I loved this corn bread. Now I've lost count how many times I've made this one.
    Shhhh, don't tell, I always cut the honey in half ... at least, some times even more.
    If you're thinking you'd like it savory, I'm sure you would.
    Corn breads really do have a very wide ranging taste. Looked at regionally in the US, normally sweet corn bread is sworn to in the north while southerners like theirs to be savory ... today however you'll find more and more of a mix.
    Yours looks perfect and you description is right on the money.

  6. Have never tried cornbread before but consisting bacon, I think it must be delicious! It simply looks delicious!

    This post just reminds me that I should be getting Bread Baker's Apprentice soon!

    Sawadee from bangkok,

  7. Cornbread is amazing - my husband's grandmother always makes it with large strips of bacon on top, it's my favorite version!

  8. Your cornbread looks so lovely, Valérie!! Did you notice my home made corn bread with my chili con carne ???

    Indeed, we in Europe aren't known of eating it but I am also glad that I made it!! My husband & I loved it ! I am going to try your version later!!

    Thanks, dear friend!

  9. I have been bothering my Mexican friend to send me the recipe of cornbread and I never received it... I really love the taste of cornbread.

  10. cornbreads are yummy! and those corn kernels look very poppylicious indeed. I'm glad you gave it a try!

  11. Je n'ai jamais mange de corn bread et j'ai toujours habite au Canada et j'ai beaucoup voyage aux US. Il faut croire que c'est un plat que je dois essayer :)

  12. Hi!
    Which part of Europe are you from? Cornbread is a staple in many parts of Italy, and it is also a very common part of the diet in many Eastern European Countries... Polenta in Italy, Mamaliga in Romania, Pura throughout the former Yugolslavia... that is how I discovered it in Canada! from my European neighbours!
    Love your posts!

  13. Ok - Belgium... so no cornbread there, "eh"? :)