Polenta is often called the Italian comfort food
A ground cornmeal, polenta is a popular substance similar to porridge which is used in many dishes today. Generally used in European (particularly Italian) cuisine, polenta is a ground substance which when added with water makes a very popular addition to many meals across Europe.
Polenta can be traced back to use in the Roman times where it was a basic staple food even for the richer people. The poor at this time also liked the simple flavors of the polenta. The polenta for many centuries was a dish eaten mainly by the poor in Ancient Rome as it was an easy and cheap grain to come by. When the maize crop was introduced to Northern Italy in the 15th and 16th centuries, polenta’s taste and style changed but was still just as popular as before.
Nowadays, it is a comfort food in Italy and is often still made in very traditional ways in kitchens across the country! Either served in soft form, or poured out and allowed to set, it can also be served as a cake. It is famous for its versatility and can be served with practically everything. Often found on the side of meat dishes or with other ingredients to make it more exciting, polenta has been staple food in Italy for so long that it is practically as popular as pasta!
Polenta is often used as a topping base, and is famous for its uses elsewhere in the world such as Romania, Switzerland, Slovenia and Mexico. Polenta has a great dough like texture which makes it a great filler in any meal.
Make your own polenta
- 9 cups water
- 3 cups cornmeal
- Pinch of salt
- Heat the water in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Lower the temperature to a medium-high heat and add the salt.
- Carefully and gradually, add the cornmeal to the water.
- Stir for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the heat when the mixture is thick and doesn’t stick to the sides of the pan.
- Allow the polenta to cool before serving.
Polenta is so easy to make – however, the stirring of the mixture can get a little tiring so you might want to get someone else to help you take turns with that part. Always make sure you stir with a wooden or at the very least, a well insulated utensil so that you don’t burn your hand!
Here’s our pick of delicious polenta dishes to try:
- Baked Polenta Recipes
- Eggs over Polenta Recipes
- Polenta with Sausage Recipes
- Creamy Polenta Recipes
- Polenta Casserole Recipes
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