Different Starches and Their Qualities

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

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Cooks have several different forms of starch to choose among for thickening sauces, each with its own particular qualities. They fall into two families: starches from grains, including flour and cornstarch, and starches from tubers and roots, including potato starch and arrowroot. Less commonly seen except on the ingredient labels of processed foods is sago starch, from the stem pith of a Pacific palm (Metroxylon sagu).