Other than “Meet me at Tapp’s,” familiar statements from the past about the iconic downtown Columbia retailer are “Meet me at the Fountain” — the restaurant inside the store — and “An order of corn sticks, please.”
Tapp’s corn sticks, in fact, became legendary in the Columbia area. Long-time residents not only lamented the closing of the store, but the loss of this local delicacy as well. Although the Tapp’s Arts Center in the old Tapp’s building (article on page 50) does not serve corn sticks, CMM tracked down the original recipe. While the restaurant whipped up a batch that served 448 corn sticks per serving, the version below is scaled down for home use. Still, this recipe serves about 72 corn sticks, so make sure family members and friends are hungry!
Tapp’s Original Corn Sticks (adapted)
2 cups plain cornmeal
1 cup plain [all-purpose] flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup shortening
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix with cornmeal and sugar. Combine milk, eggs, and shortening, and then mix into dry ingredients. Preheat oven at 400 F. Bake in well-greased corn stick mold for 20 to 25 minutes.