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 hull from the kernels, making them more palatable, easier to digest, and easier to process.
Hommony in The Two Georges Edit
Hommony or maize hulled by lye was a cheap foodstuff and fed to slaves in the southeast colonies that became the NAU. It could be made into cakes or porridge and poor people continued to eat it to the present day. However, well-to-do Negros disdained it as "slave-food".
Captain Samuel Stanley was outraged to find it on the menu in the Hotel Ahgusweyo. As he explained to his superior Colonel Thomas Bushell, he ate hommony only once. When he was about 14, his parents made up a big bowl of porridge of the stuff and made him eat all of it for supper. His father explained that his father had done the same and so on back in time. It was a way of showing what they had got away from.
While it is usually spelled hominy, Harry Turtledove uses the spelling hommony in The Two Georges.