The Midwestern Breakfast Food You've Probably Never Heard Of

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Whether that's just a good marketing slogan or a real health truth, most of us have probably heard that statement and bought into it. And who doesn't love breakfast foods? Pancakes, bacon, waffles, scrambled eggs, and cereal! Breakfast is at least one of the most delicious parts of the day, if not actually the most important. However, if you've never spent quality time on a farm or visited the Midwest — think Ohio or Indiana — you've probably never had fried cornmeal mush. And if you've never had fried cornmeal mush, then you are missing out in a big way. 

Per The Spruce Eats, fried cornmeal mush is made of simple ingredients: water or milk, cornmeal, and salt; but it takes all kinds of love, patience, and a strong stirring arm to make it right. Fried cornmeal mush can best be described as a dense porridge that is poured into a mold and placed in the refrigerator where it congeals to form a nice brick of solidified cornmeal. Once solid, the cornmeal mush is ready to slice up, fry, and serve with butter, maple syrup, or (better yet) honey. According to iFood.tvcornmeal mush was popular with European settlers upon reaching the New World because it was cheap and could be prepared well in advance. Today, The Spruce Eats says the food is considered a Southern favorite, almost an equivalent to the French toast or pancakes.

If you don't have time to make cornmeal mush, you can buy it

And guess what, if you don't have time to make your own cornmeal mush, you might be able to purchase it in the refrigerated section of your grocery store depending on where you live. Jaxon Corn Meal Mush, a fairly popular brand of the food, has been around for over 100 years according to their website. Founded in 1896, the company was born after Theresa Jackson took the leftover cornmeal she had made for dinner and placed in in her new "ice box" it in a bread pan to chill. The next morning, she fried it up and drizzled some maple syrup over it for her family's breakfast. Her husband thought it tasted so good, he took to selling it to local Indianapolis markets, and the rest is history. Walmart also sells a version made by Yoder if you can't find the Jaxon brand near you. 

While the store bought version of cornmeal mush is definitely more convenient, if you're able to set aside the time to make it yourself and don't mind stirring the cornmeal to keep it smooth and free of lumps, we think making this dish from scratch is totally worth it. Once you try it, you'll likely be making it for your family all the time — it's just that good.