What Does Cornstarch Taste Like?

Cornstarch is a silky-smooth powder put to good use for various foods and applications since the 1800s. However, no one wants to ruin a recipe by adding a thickener that will alter the taste entirely. So, what does cornstarch taste like? − a trivial question that will no longer remain a mystery in a couple of minutes. 

Cornstarch is a gluten-free, vegan, and mostly tasteless powder. While some people argue that it exhibits a starchy flavor, it’s only how its texture interacts with your tongue receptors. Due to cornstarch’s lack of flavor, it’s a popular ingredient used to thicken sauces, gravies, and soups.

Cornstarch is used worldwide; however, it’s most widely known to Asia and North America.

If cornstarch is tasteless, how can it be beneficial to cooking? Before committing to adding cornstarch to your pantry, let’s put the question “what does cornstarch taste like?” to rest for good!

What Does Cornstarch Taste Like?

Although cornstarch comes from corn, it does not resemble the taste of corn in any way! Instead, cornstarch is mostly tasteless.

If you had to compare the flavor profile of cornstarch to something, you could best compare it to flour − bland and tasteless. However, some people might say it has a starchy taste; this is most likely due to how texture interacts with your tongue receptors. 

Cornstarch is a starch made from corn. Although some individuals confuse it with cornflour, it’s vital to note that these are two very different ingredients. 

Cornflour is made by finely grinding dried corn to create a pale-yellow powdery substance. In comparison, cornstarch is a silky smooth, refined, and lightweight white powder made from corn kernels’ endosperms (starchy piece). 

In particular, manufacturers separate the kernel’s endosperm by a wet milling process, dried, and then turned into a fine powder. 

Due to the flavorlessness of cornstarch, many chefs and home cooks love using it to alter the texture of certain foods and to thicken sauces, gravies, or soups. So, instead of changing the flavor profile of food, it changes the texture by thickening liquids.

Does Cornstarch Taste Like Baby Powder?

Several claims state that cornstarch tastes like baby powder; however, this isn’t true.

Baby powder is generally a highly perfumed product. In comparison, cornstarch contains no added perfumes or fragrances.

However, cornstarch can be a natural alternative in place of baby powder.

The Texture Of Cornstarch

The texture of cornstarch varies on the way you use it. 

Cornstarch offers a thicker and denser consistency compared to regular flour and starches. However, it doesn’t leave the pungent mouthfeel as flour.

Cornstarch has a silky, smooth texter similar to sugar powder when you eat it raw. In comparison, it becomes moist, creamy, and slightly jelly-like when you mix it with water. 

Does Cornstarch Go Bad?

Although many people claim that cornstarch lasts indefinitely, the true answer lies behind the storage conditions. 

Follow these methods to maximize the shelf life of cornstarch:

1. Airtight Jars Are Your Best Friend

To maximize storage, consider removing the cornstarch from its original paper packaging and placing it in an airtight jar or container to ensure that you can tightly seal the product after use.

2. Moisture Is The Enemy

You’ll want to avoid allowing any form of moisture to reach the cornstarch! Once water or liquid seeps in, it will soon develop mold and spoil.

So, once again, ensure you place it in an airtight container to wick away all the moisture.

3. Cool, Dark Places Are Ideal

Keep the cornstarch in a cool and dark place to ensure that you maximize its shelf life. For example, try to place it in the pantry or a cupboard away from the sunlight and your stove.

Can You Use Expired Cornstarch?

It is perfectly safe to use cornstarch after the brand’s commercial “Best Before” date. The date is not necessarily a safety indication but a mere estimate of how long the cornstarch will stay at its peak quality. 

However, only use cornstarch after its “Best Before” date if the package is undamaged and appropriately stored. 

Is Cornstarch Gluten Free?

Corn is a naturally gluten-free grain, and because no other ingredients are added to produce cornstarch, we can safely assume that pure cornstarch is a 100% gluten-free product.

However, note that manufacturers can make cornstarch using gluten foods, which means that the cornstarch can have gluten traces due to cross-contamination. 

More so, specific brands and manufacturers may sell a cornstarch product with additional ingredients containing gluten. For example, if the labels state that the product contains wheat, barley, rye, triticale, etc., then the cornstarch isn’t gluten-free.

We recommend reading the packaging before assuming the cornstarch is gluten-free. The disclaimer on the label will note the factory and product status. 

Is Cornstarch Vegan?

Pure cornstarch does not contain any traces of animal products, technically making it vegan-friendly. However, it does not mean the production process is free from exploitation or cruelty.

The true goal of veganism is to exclude all forms of exploitation and cruelty as far as possible; this includes animals, food, clothing, and other purposes. 

Most corn cultivation tends to be nearly 100% GMO unless specified otherwise. So, the products can have some pretty unhealthy and nasty side effects. 

Politics aside, many vegans love turning to cornstarch as a staple that helps thicken a sauce or adds body to baking. But did you know that cornstarch has double the thickening effect of flour! 

Conclusion

To sum it up, cornstarch is a tasteless powder, making it a pretty popular choice to thicken sauces, gravies, and soups. Although bland, adding too much cornstarch may change the texture of your dish entirely, so work sparingly!

We hope you now know what this powder is sitting in your pantry tastes like − starchy but tasteless!