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Polenta info Tips and Information

Polenta info and tips will help you in your cooking and food preparation.These are very useful and quite interesting information that you learn once and then apply at any time you need it.


polenta info

Polenta is the speciality of Northern Italy and particularly Venice Lombardy and Piedmont. It
never conquered the South where pasta has remained the reigning monarch. Modern polentapuls in Latin is a mixture of corn meal and water. According to Anna Del Conte in her fascinating Secretsirom an italian Kitchen polenta was originally made from a variety of cereals and during the Renaissance barley chestnuts broad beans and millet flour were used.
Corn along with tomatoes beans and peppers came to Europe from the New World later with Columbus. The yellow grain arrived from Spain in the Rialto market in Venice where it was immediately christened granoturco Turkish grain for no sensible explanation other than its exotic colour and its distinct foreignness. By the sixteenth century with the decline and fall of the Eastern Empire Venetians and the peasants of the mainland were quite poor so this easytogrow crop was to become a staple around the Po Valley where it was first cultivated. And so yellow polenta had arrived in Venice.
As a staple for the poor it was mostly eaten by itself or sometimes with milk or butter. Leftovers were grilled and eaten for breakfast the next day or for lunch when it was adorned with cheap accompaniments such as beans onions lard or crackling and for those who could afford it baccala salt cod. This was cucina povera in all its inventiveness.
Polenta makes an ideal background for juxtaposing bold flavours. Its versatility lies in its constantly changing character: with melted cheese such as Fontina or Gorgonzola added in at the final moments of its cooking it becomes rich and sumptuous; with a rich stew such as the Venetian classic polenta con seppie nere (polenta with cuttlefish in their own ink or squid qv) it becomes dynamic.

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Just as bread is important in Tuscany pasta in Emilia Romana and rice in the Veneto polenta is the essential staple of the northernmost region of Italy. Like bread pasta and rice polenta can be transformed by the method of cooking.
At the River Cafe we only make polenta when in season and either grill it or serve it wet with butter and parmesan. We cook it wet to go with the recipes that have a lot of juice which will be soaked up by the polenta such as game birds sausages with tomato sauce field and wild mushrooms. Polenta which has been grilled has a crust with a soff texture inside which is delicious with any of our sauces salads or braised vegetables.
As you must search for the best rice or pasta flour you must also find the best polenta flour. Bramanta polenta is an organic mixture of three types of maize kernels. When cooking the texture is grainy the colour deep orange/yellow and there is a wonderful perfume of simmering corn.
On our first winetasting trip to Italy in a restaurant in Piedmont we ate a dish of polenta that was unlike any we had ever had before. We had to find out where it came from and finally tracked down the mill where it was ground. This polenta as well as their pasta flour is now imported into this country by our wine merchant Winecellars.





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