General Question

meagan's avatar

Can you taste corn starch?

Asked by meagan (4675points) January 5th, 2011

I used corn starch in a pie recipe recently, and its all I could taste. It was disgusting! Maybe like a baking powder taste?

Is this normal? I didn’t think you were supposed to be able to taste corn starch.
I’ve been cooking for about a year now, and haven’t noticed this before.
Should I switch bands?

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10 Answers

BarnacleBill's avatar

You should not be able to taste cornstarch. It’s generally used as a thickening agent because it doesn’t give you lumps like flour does. If it’s used in place of flour in cookie recipes, it does change the texture when you bite into the cookie. Melting Moments are one example of a cookie whose texture is changed because of cornstarch.

What kind of pie did you make?

YARNLADY's avatar

If the cornstarch is past it’s use by date it can add a stale taste to the pie.

marinelife's avatar

Was the pie filling baked? That should have removed the taste of corn starch.

janbb's avatar

If you add too much to the pie it will affect the taste, but mainly it makes it gluey.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

That doesn’t sound right. What kind of pie?

thorninmud's avatar

Cornstarch does contain a small amount of fat. When fresh, this fat gives cornstarch a very slight but distinctive taste. With time, the fat can both absorb odors and turn rancid through exposure to oxygen.

If the starch is fresh and it’s just the natural taste of the cornstarch that’s bothering you, try switching to arrowroot starch. It has the least flavor of the starches. Substitute 2 tsp arrowroot starch for 1T cornstarch.

josie's avatar

No, unless you eat it out of the box.

meagan's avatar

Coconut cream pie. I didn’t bake it. It was basically custard that I put the starch in, which went in the bottom of the pie.

It tastes like baking soda to me. I’ll check the expiration date, but it completely ruined the pie to me.

thorninmud's avatar

As an experiment, if you put a little bit of the cornstarch in a spoon, moisten it with a little water and taste a bit on your fingertip, do you detect the same flavor?

MJR's avatar

Meagan, I feel more strongly about cornstarch (and powdered sugar, too, which contains cornstarch) than most of the previous contributors. I find the taste nasty, and won’t eat anything that I know, or even suspect, of being made with cornstarch or powdered sugar. I won’t even eat things that have had powdered sugar dusted on them; even if you brush the sugar off, enough of the taste remains to bother me.

I agree with Adrirondackwannabe that arrowroot is the best substitute for cornstarch in recipes. I keep a jar of it on hand at all times. It’s more expensive, but worth it to me. A minor offsetting factor is that you only need to use about two-thirds as much.

When you make this substitution by adding it to a liquid being cooked, it’s important to remove the liquid from the heat first and make sure it is no longer boiling. Otherwise it will clump.

I imagine the substitution would be more important in uncooked dishes than cooked ones for those of you who can’t taste it in cooked items.

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