I have 3 unidentified white powders in my kitchen (I know, right?) There is a 4th; rice flour so they are not that. Options?



GPSJane July 1, 2013
Yay! 2 down, 1 to go. I have NO idea though.
HalfPint July 1, 2013
Potato starch: yes, it should be soft like corn flour and yes, it would dissolve the same way.
GPSJane June 30, 2013
Thanks I thought of that but I'm not sure exactly which shops they're from. I might try having a look. I have not bought arrowroot and just to be sure none of them are 'squeaky'. They're not cream of tartar. 3 is definitely maize meal - I just cooked some. 2 is probably potato starch but should potato starch be soft like corn flower and dissolve the same way?
susan G. June 30, 2013
If you have bought them from a store that sells items in bulk, they may be able to help you -- I know that when I sold bulk spices, people would come in with ID questions.
One hint -- if you possible have arrowroot or cream of tartar, arrowroot feels 'squeeky' when pinched, C of T does not.
GPSJane June 30, 2013
Oh yes I know. It's not old. I just forgot. The reason I posted this is I cleaned up the cupboard and was sticking masking tape on everything to label it. Unfortunately the only problematic thing is that I know what everything is except these things. It will help my husband to have labels though ;)
Pegeen June 30, 2013
p.s. GPSJane
I know it's disappointing to toss things... but better that than to become ill from an old ingredient or have an unsatisfactory cooking result. Next time, masking tape with a handwritten label or even Post Its!

Voted the Best Reply!

Pegeen June 30, 2013
Stuff in a pantry with no label? Just my humble opinion, but I'd throw it out.
Sadassa_Ulna June 30, 2013
What size containers are they in? Large could be
all-purpose flour (i.e. bleached or unbleached wheat), or
some kind of baking mix.
Medium could be
confectioner's sugar,
tapioca flour (or other starch flour)
baking soda or
corn starch.
Small could any number of things:
cream of tartar,
baking powder,
agar powder?
If you are a gluten-free baker than it could be anything!
GPSJane June 30, 2013
As I said they really are not anything normal like wheat flour, icing sugar, corn starch or bp. I don't have tapioca, agar or baking mixes. They are medium quantities, perhaps about 500ml. I'm not a gluten free baker but I do use these things.

I think that maybe 3 is maize meal but precooked, which is why it tastes sweet and not like normal maize meal.

I am think 1 or 2 could be potato something or other. Any other suggestions?
GPSJane June 30, 2013
Oh there was not enough space but they are not normal things like wheat flour, baking powder etc.
1 is strong smelling and very fine and soft like icing sugar or corn flour.
2 is sweetish smelling and fine with a slightly glittery look. It clumps together.
3. is slightly coarser and sweet tasting.
Recommended by Food52