Does cornstarch have a taste? Cornstarch is a surprisingly versatile baking and cooking ingredient.
It is primarily used to thicken sauces and soups but can also be used in many other situations. It does not have a taste.
However, just because the cornstarch doesn’t have a taste doesn’t mean that it’s good for every recipe.
The texture and thickening agents of cornstarch are good for some things but not for others, and it’s essential to know how the ingredients work.
Does Cornstarch Have a Taste?
Cornstarch doesn’t have a specific taste. As flour, it’s a bland starch meant to be a thickening agent.
It doesn’t have much taste and is a great way to thicken recipes without affecting the flavor.
Cornstarch is made from corn but doesn’t taste like it because most of the flavor of corn is from the kernel’s skin.
Cornstarch is created from the inner section, the endosperms of the cornstarch.
Does Cornstarch’s Taste Change With the Texture?
When properly used, cornstarch is clear and tasteless. It works to bring the molecules in the food together and thickens soups, custards, and sauces.
The molecules bond with water to create a thick paste when mixed. The more cornstarch you have, the thicker the end product will be.
If you use too much cornstarch, you could end up with custard, a pudding, or even an almost solid structure (although, without a lot of other ingredients, it could taste pretty bland).
Tip: You can thicken a soup or make a roux with only a little cornstarch.
Does Cornstarch Have a Sweet Taste?
Cornstarch doesn’t have a sweet or bitter taste–it doesn’t taste like much at all.
If you’ve ever accidentally tasted flour, cornstarch tastes a bit like that. It’s powdery and tasteless but will clump up on your tongue.
Some people have reported that corn starch does have a slightly sweet taste.
However, because it’s not a universal experience, scientists think that people who experience sweetness with cornstarch have different receptors in their tongues (a similar sensation to allergies but less painful).
Because cornstarch doesn’t have a specific taste, it’s popular in both sweet and savory dishes.
You can use cornstarch to thicken up whatever you want, from puddings to gravy.
Tip: Use cornstarch in puddings, custards, and other thick dessert recipes.
What Is the Texture of Cornstarch?
Cornstarch might not taste like anything, but the texture is what makes it so useful.
Without the changing texture of cornstarch, it truly wouldn’t be of any use in the kitchen.
However, the thickening agent of cornstarch creates an entirely new thickness in any dish.
The texture is the superstar.
Cornstarch has a silky and soft texture. It’s completely powdered, so it remains soft to the touch.
While it’s dry, cornstarch feels and acts like powdered sugar (although, do not get the two confused–that would be some very sad icing).
What Happens When You Mix Cornstarch With Liquid?
When cornstarch comes in contact with water, it becomes an entirely different ingredient.
The powder soaks up the water and thickens whatever liquid it enters. It will become smooth and creamy when whisked and eventually thicken perfectly.
Of course, this process depends on the proper stirring of your ingredients.
If you just plop cornstarch into liquid, it will clump and not be very pleasant.
With proper whisking, the starch will magically disappear into the dish and only be visible in the creamy, thick, or custardy texture.
Tip: If you want a thicker liquid, add less water to your cornstarch.
The History of Cornstarch
Originally, cornstarch was created as a form of laundry starch. It kept shirts crisp and clean for several years before being used in food.
Now, however, cornstarch is mostly used in dishes. There are also ways to use it outside of the kitchen, but recipes are more common.
The Invention of Cornstarch
In 1842, cornstarch was invented by Thomas Kingsford as a way to launder clothes.
When he discovered the inner kernel of the corn and its properties, he sold it to launderers and individual homes for housework.
However, a few years later, cooks began using cornstarch in soups and gravies instead of flour.
Housewives realized that, when properly whisked in, cornstarch lent to better textures and stronger sauces than flour.
Since then, cornstarch has been used both for laundry and for cooking.
Tip: You can use cornstarch for household purposes, such as soaking up stains and keeping things clean.
When Should I Use Cornstarch?
If you have never used cornstarch before and want to try it, there are some things you should know.
It’s essential to be patient while using cornstarch, know when to use it, and know when not to.
Otherwise, you could have disastrous results in the kitchen.
What Recipes Is Cornstarch Good In?
Cornstarch is excellent in a lot of different recipes. From soups to puddings, cornstarch is the perfect way to thicken things without making them sticky or too thick.
Here are some of the best recipes for cornstarch:
If cornstarch is in a recipe, it’s essential to use it properly. Too much cornstarch will result in a goopy, sticky mess.
When you don’t use enough cornstarch, your dish will still be watery and not thick enough.
If you follow a recipe correctly, however, you will enjoy the perfect results of cornstarch.
Tip: Always follow your recipe exactly when using cornstarch. Don’t approximate.
Tips for Using Cornstarch in Recipes
Cornstarch is a super versatile ingredient but not incredibly easy to use. It may act like flour, but it’s not the same when it comes to cooking!
If you’re going to use cornstarch, follow these tips for an easier cooking experience.
Be Patient When Using Cornstarch
Cornstarch will test your patience. If you are making gravy, cream sauce, or pudding and whisking the cornstarch in, it’s easy to assume you haven’t put in enough and add more.
It takes a while for cornstarch to start to thicken a sauce, and it’s tempting to add more.
Whisk your cornstarch well and consistently, giving it a break if you need to. However, constant, slow-paced whisking will lead to a satisfying thickness.
You’ll be able to feel the difference in the pudding and know that you’ve done your job well.
Prepare for a Mess
Do you know the powdery mess that powdered sugar can make? It’s finely ground enough to poof out of the bag and get all over the counter.
Well, cornstarch is the same way. If you’re naturally a messy baker, prepare for a large mess.
However, if you’ve had experience with cornstarch, you know to measure it carefully and clean it up quickly.
Even a little moisture will cause the starch to cling to counters like cement, so ensure that you clean it up well!
Be Careful With Heat
There’s only one thing worse than goopy, sticky cornstarch, and it’s burnt cornstarch.
Burnt cornstarch will stick to your pan, utensils, and almost everything else.
It takes a long time to clean off and causes drama. If you’re cooking with cornstarch, be very careful when using heat.
You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble!
Know the Difference Between Flour and Cornstarch
Flour and cornstarch are very similar–they are both thickeners and plain starches.
As we’ve discussed, you can use cornstarch instead of flour in soup or sauce recipes to thicken them.
It makes the sauce smoother than flour would and is a better option.
However, cornstarch doesn’t work better in every recipe. For cookies and other baked goods, flour is better than cornstarch. When baked, cornstarch hardens and becomes almost chewy.
It will change the texture of your baked goods. To keep cookies and cakes consistent, it’s best to follow the original recipe.
Cornstarch is a natural thickening agent and will congeal into any dishes that you use.
While this is amazing in dishes, it’s not so good ON the dishes. After a while, it can be an enormous pain to clean.
If you soak or wash your dishes immediately after cooking with them, the cornstarch will remain liquid and wash off smoothly.
However, the longer you wait before washing it, the more likely it is for the starch to congeal onto your dishes and make them very difficult to clean.
Eventually, the cornstarch will look and act like cement, extremely difficult to move.
You’ll have to soak the dishes for a while in hot water (maybe even overnight) before you have a chance to get them clean.
Read Next: What Does Oysters Taste Like?
So, does cornstarch have a taste? While cornstarch doesn’t taste like anything, its texture more than makes up for the lack of flavor.
The quietest ingredients can make the most difference in a recipe, and cornstarch is one of those behind-the-scenes superstars.
You might not be able to taste cornstarch, but you will notice its absence!