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Polenta is one of my favorite traditional Italian staples.

It is an age old comfort food.

Types of cornmeal – Read more!

Digging into the History of Polenta

With the arrival of maize in Italy from the “New World” at the end of the 15th century polenta, as it is now known, took on its current recipe.  Originating in the Friuli section of Italy, it was cooked in large copper pots called “paiolo.”



Polenta cooked in paiolo. Photo source –


Polenta is a slow cooked dish taking over an hour to make and must be constantly stirred.  Today we have alternatives to reduce the cooking and stirring time thanks to instant brands and in a tube ready to eat. Cooked polenta can be shaped into balls, patties or sticks and fried, baked, or grilled.

Polenta is delicious served with cheeses (gorgonzola), butter, tomato sauce, and brown gravies. It is also wonderful with roasted quail and other fowl, mushrooms (porcini), sausages, vegetables (rapini), and roasted meats.

Digging into the History of Polenta(1)

Polenta with mushrooms and sweet sausages. Photo source –

In some parts of the world people serve it for breakfast. Austria serves their sweet polenta in a bowl and pours cafe au lait on top! In North America, we call it grits and top it off with everything from maple syrup to cheese- it’s all good!

During the 1980’s and 90’s polenta became a gourmet food and is now a staple in many American diets.  It appears on menus of famous restaurants, ironically, utilizing some of the original Roman grains.

Would you like to see what polenta, faro, and other grains look like?  I’d love to show you!  Di Bruno Bros. carries beautiful products, and their original location is a stop on my Italian Market Tour!


Food Tour Dibruno zozi

February 16th, 2017|Chef Jacquie's Blog|2 Comments


  1. cialis for daily use Doreen McGettigan February 18, 2017 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Polenta is not one of my favorites but the memory of my grandmother making it and teaching me is a favorite.
    I love that copper pot!

    • levitra generic Jacqueline Kelly February 20, 2017 at 4:44 pm - Reply

      It’s amazing the connections that we have to food…nothing like those childhood memories! Thank for sharing, Doreen!

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