In Arizona and New Mexico, corn is grown in many colors, including red, white, and blue. The blue variety, finely ground into meal, is a ubiquitous ingredient in Southwest native foods. Blue cornmeal is put to work in tortillas and chips, plus a host of other intriguing, lesser-known dishes, such as Hopi paper bread.
With its pleasant parched flavor and slightly crunchy texture, blue cornmeal has also gained popularity in recent years in everyday non-native foods like pancakes and waffles. Near Santa Fe, where I often visit for the cultural contrasts of opera and rodeo, I came across these thick, platter-size blue cornmeal pancakes, as light and tender as any I've eaten. You can find blue cornmeal in natural-food stores and most well-stocked supermarkets throughout the West.