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Cornstarch, often mistaken for cornflour, is a white powder that comes from grinding only the endosperm of a corn. This part of the corn doesn’t have fiber, protein, or fat, and is mostly starchy. Meanwhile, cornflour comes from grinding the entire corn kernel and contains fiber, protein, and even starch.
Cornstarch is usually white, while cornflour is yellow. However, there is also white corn flour, which can be confusing. In this article, we’ll explain the difference and show you where to find cornstarch in grocery store.
How to tell the difference between cornstarch and cornflour
While you can’t exactly taste both flours at the grocery store, what you should look out for is texture or consistency. Cornstarch is always white and has a smoother texture that you can tell on sight if you compare it with cornflour. Meanwhile, cornflour has a consistency similar to wheat flour.
Cornstarch is best used as a thickener for soups, sauces, custards, pie fillings, puddings, and more. On the other hand, cornflour works best as a baking agent for flavoring bread, muffins, doughnuts, pancake mixes, baby food, biscuits, breakfast cereals, and more. Although cornstarch and cornflour are both corn powders, you shouldn’t use them interchangeably because of the difference in texture and ingredients.
Cornstarch doesn’t have protein and other vitamins, which makes it tasteless. Also, if you mix it in water, it forms an oobleck. An oobleck is a mixture of water and cornstarch that temporarily thickens when you apply force to it. If you try to grab or fold the mixture into your palm, it solidifies but relaxes to liquid form when you release it. This texture will make pastries crumbly after baking.
Meanwhile, cornflour gives flavor and color to baked foods because of its proteinous components and yellow appearance. When you mix it with water, it forms a smooth paste.
What aisle is cornstarch at the grocery store?
Cornstarch is in the Baking aisle of most grocery stores. That section is where you’ll find all the ingredients for making pastries and baked goods. For example, flour, powdered sugar, baking powder or soda, and yeast. The baking aisle mostly carries branded products, so you’ll find packaged types like Argo, Gefen, and Bob’s Red Mill cornstarch.
But some stores may keep cornstarch in sacks where you can buy them in bulk. They will consider the cornstarch as a weighted good, and you’ll be charged according to the quantity you ask for. We recommend buying in bulk because it’s cheaper, and you can fetch only the amount you need. With packaged products, you’re forced to buy what is on the shelves, whether it’s too much or little.
The best stores to buy cornstarch from
The stores listed below sell fresh cornstarch. Most of them have online locators to help you find the right aisle in your region as store layouts continuously change. But Whole Foods Market is among the few that don’t offer delivery options on their website. Hence, you may need to use a food delivery app to shop conveniently.
Since cornstarch comes from corn and is used in food preparation, it qualifies for Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card purchase. We have a guide that lists what you can or can’t buy with EBT cards. Don’t know what EBT cards are and how they work? Then read our explainer article on how to apply for the electronic food stamps online.
Amazon & Whole Foods Market
Amazon is the largest online store worldwide, and the best place to find anything you need. The company also owns Whole Foods Market, the best store to buy organic and natural foods from. Since Whole Foods Market doesn’t do deliveries, you can shop their products on Amazon.com. The store has its own brand, which is the 365 by Whole Foods Market cornstarch.
- 365 by Whole Foods Market products give you that dance-down-the-aisles feeling, virtual aisles too! Our huge range of choices with premium ingredients at prices you can get down with makes grocery shopping so much more than tossing the basics in your cart.
- A nearly flavorless thickener, Argo corn starch allows the natural taste of food to shine through.
- Argo corn starch is the perfect thickening agent for gravies, sauces, and glazes.
- It can also be used to thicken desserts like pies, custards, and puddings.
- Because it's gluten-free, Argo corn starch is a health-conscious alternative to glutinous starches used in baking and cooking.
- Argo corn starch comes in a convenient, recloseable box
Walmart stocks cornstarch in the Baking aisle. They have the Clabber Girl, Argo, and Frontier brands. The store does deliveries and offers curbside pickup.
Cornstarch is in the Baking aisle. They have Bob’s Red Mill, Argo, and Rumford, among others. The store also has its own brand, which is the Kroger pure cornstarch.
Meijer has its own brand of cornstarch, and also sells cornstarch from third parties. You can shop them for as low as $1.89, and the store offers other cornstarch based products as well. For example, body powders and flossers.
Publix stocks cornstarch in the aisle with Bread crumbs. You can use their online locator feature to find the right aisle in your region.
Cornflour is the ingredient you need if your soups or sauces are more runny than you’d like. However, the term is often interchanged with cornflour in countries outside the USA. For example, in Israel and Ireland, people refer to cornstarch as cornflour.
But as aforementioned, both ingredients can’t be used interchangeably because of the differences in texture and nutritional components. If you need better substitutes for cornstarch, you can use potato starch, rice flour, arrowroot powder, and tapioca starch.
Moses Dzarmah is the founder of Grocerycorridor. Having worked in the grocery store for almost all his life. His colleagues called him the grocery hermit for his knowledge around the field that’s encompassing. Almost disturbing that he’d know every nitty gritty part associated to grocery stores. I decided to pen down as my colleagues will endearingly say with a slight mockery “wealth of experience”.