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Is Masa Brosa (Corn Meal) Gluten Free?


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#1 Bonnie2day

 
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Posted 09 April 2011 - 11:35 PM

I live in the Sacramento, CA area and my best friend was just diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I am trying to find things I can make for her that I can afford the ingredients for!

I just bought a 4.4 lb. pkg. of masabrosa (HARINA DE MAIZ) corn meal type flour from Safeway. Is it gluten free? It is made in Mexico and imported by MASABROSA LLC in Virginia. INGREDIENTS: WHITE COOKED CORN, WATER, LIME, NO PRESERVATIVES ADDED.

All the other bags I looked at said they were gluten free on the package, but they were for specific purposes, i.e. only for tortillas or only for tamales. This seems to be a more versatile corn meal. It says on the package that it can be used for Pupusas, Gorditas, Atoles, and other traditional dishes.

I spent half of the day reading different recipes and researching different varieties of corn and processing methods. Now I am just confused and overloaded with information. This is cooked and treated corn, which is then dried and made into a meal, right? I guess that means I CANNOT use it for the type of cornbread I am used to. Is there a reasonably priced corn meal that is gluten free that I can find nearby?

I would like to make Pupusas (how do you pronounce that word?). I read about them and I think I can make them. I also watched a video on making Arepas. Is there anywhere in this area where I can get an Arepas Maker? Is there anything I can make with the masabrosa and my Belgium Wafflemaker???

Thanks in advance for your help.
Bonnie
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#2 GlutenFreeManna

 
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Posted 10 April 2011 - 05:42 AM

I live in the Sacramento, CA area and my best friend was just diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I am trying to find things I can make for her that I can afford the ingredients for!

I just bought a 4.4 lb. pkg. of masabrosa (HARINA DE MAIZ) corn meal type flour from Safeway. Is it gluten free? It is made in Mexico and imported by MASABROSA LLC in Virginia. INGREDIENTS: WHITE COOKED CORN, WATER, LIME, NO PRESERVATIVES ADDED.

All the other bags I looked at said they were gluten free on the package, but they were for specific purposes, i.e. only for tortillas or only for tamales. This seems to be a more versatile corn meal. It says on the package that it can be used for Pupusas, Gorditas, Atoles, and other traditional dishes.

I spent half of the day reading different recipes and researching different varieties of corn and processing methods. Now I am just confused and overloaded with information. This is cooked and treated corn, which is then dried and made into a meal, right? I guess that means I CANNOT use it for the type of cornbread I am used to. Is there a reasonably priced corn meal that is gluten free that I can find nearby?

I would like to make Pupusas (how do you pronounce that word?). I read about them and I think I can make them. I also watched a video on making Arepas. Is there anywhere in this area where I can get an Arepas Maker? Is there anything I can make with the masabrosa and my Belgium Wafflemaker???

Thanks in advance for your help.
Bonnie

The short answer is that it depends on the brand and how it is processed. It also depends somewhat on your friend and how sensitive she is to cross contamination (cc). I am not familiar with that brand as I'm on the opposite sid eof the US from you, however the very first brand of corn meal I bought made me ill when I used it. I contacted the company only to find out the processed it ont he same lines as wheat and the corn meal "may contain traces of wheat". I'm pretty sure that's what made me sick. I have found MaSeCa brand to be safe for me.

As to your question about the belgium waffle maker, if you have already been using it for regular gltuen waffles then any waffles you make in it from here on out will not be "gluten free", at least not gluten free enough to be safe for you celiac friend to eat. Waffle irons are very difficult to clean and get every little trace of gltuen out of, especially since you cannot put most models through a dishwasher.

This same risk of cc applies to other things you may have if your kitchen. In order to cook for your friend safely you cannot use any wooden spoons or plastic utensils with scratches, no cast iron, no wooden or plastic cutting boards, and no non-stick cookware with scrathes. You will want to cover your cookie sheets and other bakign pans with foil or parchement paper to prevent gltuen free baked goods from picking up traces of gluten from the previous things you have baked. You will also have to be sure that you don't cook with wheat flour and then go to prepare gluten-free food right after that. Flour dust stays in the air for hours and settles on everything. It will contaminate the gluten free food you are trying to make. Also be careful of open spices or bags of sugar you have used int he past for baking. They are likely cc with wheat flour.

You are really sweet to want to cook for your friend, but don't be upset if she ends up telling you she's not comfortable it. As you can tell from just the little bit I told you above it takes a lot of work and vigilance to make safe gluten-free baked goods at home.
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#3 Bonnie2day

 
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Posted 10 April 2011 - 06:26 PM

I realized on my own that I can't use the Belgium Wafflemaker for gluten-free cooking - it's already "contaminated" with wheat. Thanks for pointing out about the pans, etc., though. I hadn't thought of that!

Is a Pyrex baking dish safe? I have one of those, though I would have probably used my Teflon coated pan if you hadn't warned me.

I'm busy trying to figure out how to get gluten-free corn meal (or a substitute corn meal) at a reasonable price. My elderly mother lives with me and we both like cornbread and such. Neither of us is wheat intolerant, but I thought if I could find safe corn meal we could use it for several things and my friend could also eat it.

It appears as though types of corn meal native to other countries are available and less expensive. I never realized that different parts of the world grow different types of corn and that they process it differently. Wow. The 4.4 lb. bag of masa brosa that I bought will be interesting to learn about (it is just called masa brosa, packaged in Mexico by MASABROSA LLC. and sold at Safeway). I'm hoping since Mexico uses a lot of corn products that maybe this plant only processes corn... Even if it ends up that my friend canít eat this specific corn meal, Mom & will get to experiment with it a bit.

I cooked some Golden Pheasant Polenta this morning for the first time. Mom & I both liked it! I read on several posts that other people use this brand, though I haven't determined absolutely whether it is gluten-free or not. Does anyone know? Maybe I can call them after the weekend is over and find out.

Thanks for the information and the help!
Bonnie
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#4 sa1937

 
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Posted 11 April 2011 - 03:25 AM

Is a Pyrex baking dish safe? I have one of those, though I would have probably used my Teflon coated pan if you hadn't warned me.
Bonnie

I've found that Pyrex or CorningWare is very easy to get clean. Years ago I actually used oven cleaner (like Easy-Off) on some Pyrex. Glass is so much easier to get clean than metal.
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#5 AC3

 
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Posted 24 February 2013 - 11:30 AM

Finding no definite information online, I tested a bag of Masa Brosa Harina de Mais using a GlutenTox test kit.  At a sensitivity of 20 ppm, my sample showed no gluten. Obviously, I can't know if there is batch to batch variation or a possibility that the company might operate multiple facilities. Mine was purchased Feb, 2013, in Rockville, MD.


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