TITLE: POLENTA, the symbol of Veneto and northern Italy's cuisine.

Cooking Polenta
Polenta, is a simple and very old dish, and has been eaten for centuries throughout Veneto.
Already in the Roman ages the army used to eat Polenta, made with wheat flour, whose flower was called pullen.
Only after 1492, thanks to Christopher Columbus, the cereal which will be the basic ingredient of the actual Polenta was known: corn, whose name comes from mahiz, as the indigenous who Columbus met in the Hispaniola isle used to call it.
Since then, helped by the ideal weather conditions to produce corn, Polenta became the daily meal for northern Italy's poor inhabitants.

Traditional POLENTA recipe
Ingredients (4-6 people):
• 6 cups of water (or with some milk)
• 2 cups of corn flour
• 2 tea spoons of salt
• 1 tea spoon of olive oil

Use a huge pan and a big wooden spoon.
Bring the water to boil and when the water boils add salt and pour in the corn flour very slowly, keep on mixing around 45 minutes over a low fire. The Polenta will be ready once it starts to separate from the pan, so when it’s ready pour it over a wooden board, then cut it into slices with a cotton thread or with a knife.

What to eat Polenta with :
In the very poor Veneto of the past centuries a diet based only on Polenta sometimes caused diseases like anemia, which is why slowly people started to add more ingredients and variations to the dish, nowadays there are amazing ways to enjoy polenta.
Just to give you an idea: polenta with smoked ham, with cheese (any kind, even we suggest gorgonzola cheese, which melts very easily with warm Polenta), with mushrooms, sausage, fried onions, "polenta pasticciata" (with bolognese sauce), polenta and dried cod, with meat in general, "polenta e osei" (with poultry).

We recommend Polenta as a starter or first course, and it's much more enjoyable when it's cold outside.

Wow, I am getting very hungry right now….
I remember when during the very cold winters in Verona my dad used to heat the Polenta on the fireplace, and after that we would spread some gorgonzola cheese between 2 slices of hot Polenta in order to melt it, it was so yummy!
C'mon then, enjoy it!

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