This section is from the book "Meals Medicinal", by W. T. Fernie. Also available from Amazon: Meals Medicinal: With "Herbal Simples" Curative Foods From the Cook in Place of Drugs From the Chemist.
(See Maize, Hominy, Samp, Oswego, Pop Corn, and Cerealine).
Maize, or Indian Corn, which is produced over immense regions of the globe, though not grown in England, affords nutriment of a substantial kind more largely than wheat, our "Staff of Life." It also contains starch, sugar, fat, salts, and water. Maize has the additional advantage of being easily digested in the human body, so that altogether it makes a specially valuable food. "With a diet of Indian Corn, bread, and pork," says an American writer, "the workmen of this country are capable of enduring the greatest fatigue, and of performing the heaviest amount of physical labour." But Maize is deficient in mineral salts, though richer in fat than any other cereal, except the oat. In Ireland, Maize is cooked as a porridge, or "stir-about," or, as the Americans call it, mush.
Hominy, Samp, and Cerealine are starchy preparations of split maize, being of much nutritive value as such, and admirable for making puddings. Corn bread contains more nourishment than wheaten bread, and is a better diet for persons suffering from disease of the liver, or of the kidneys. Doctors will do well to advocate a more extensive use of Corn bread; it is cheaper than wheaten bread, is readily prepared, and requires but little knowledge to make it. The starch of Maize (sold as corn-flour) is a manufactured article, and represents only the fat-forming, heat-producing constituents of the grain; but because containing little, or no mineral matter it cannot sustain the solids of the body. Infants fed on this corn-flour grow up rickety; it contains only about eighteen grains of proteid substance to the pound. The flour of Maize does not make good bread in the ordinary way: it has a harsh flavour, and the meal is heavy. A couple of teaspoonfuls of corn-flour mixed with two tablespoonfuls of water, and then added to half a pint of boiling milk, and boiled for eight minutes, being sweetened to taste, form a liquid of about the consistency of cream. An old doctor of some note has been in the habit of taking a basin of this every night at bedtime, with decided benefit.
For some feeble persons a spoonful of brandy, or a wineglassful of good sound sherry, would be properly added, and would better conduce to its digestion.