Whenever we mention that we use hominy in soups and stews, we usually get the same response: what in tarnation is hominy? People know that it has something to do with grits, but that's misleading, as "grits" makes people think of corn mush, whereas hominy adds chewiness, texture, and a delicious tortilla-like flavor to any dish.
Commercially available canned hominy may have a slightly stronger scent when compared to the traditional preparation. The traditional U.S. version involves soaking dried corn in lye-water (sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide solution), traditionally derived from wood ash, until the hulls are removed. Mexican recipes describe a preparation process consisting primarily of cooking in lime-water (calcium hydroxide). In either case, the process is called nixtamalization, and removes the germ and the hard outer hullfrom the kernels, making them more palatable, easier to digest, and easier to process.