Ingredient - Italy
Information about Cornmeal or Polenta
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is a grainy flour which has been ground from the dried kernels of yellow or
white corn. Today cornmeal can be bought in fine or coarse grades as well as
stone-ground, which is made from whole kernels and produces a richer flour. It
is used in many cuisines, especially in South America where corn rules supreme,
and can be used to make bread, often with the addition of a wheat based flour.
Although wheat in the form of Pasta is thought by many to be THE
staple of Italy, in reality this was largely only true in the south. Cornmeal in
the form of Polenta, has traditionally been the staple for the poorer classes in
the North and in Roman times is was widely used to feed the Roman soldiers.
Interestingly, northern Italians are called "polentoni" because of their
extensive use of polenta in their cooking.
very versatile ingredient, once mixed with water it can be boiled, fried or
baked, sometimes flavoured with cheese, onions or herbs and eaten as an
accompaniment to meats and poultry, or used as a base in recipes such as Polenta
Lasagne. In general the coarse grained yellow cornmeal is used for Polenta
although a fine textured, white type, made from white corn is sometimes used.
Just to confuse matters, when you buy the ingredient (cornmeal)
to make Polenta, it is usually just called “Polenta”. But if you look at the
ingredients list, it is simply ground maize – cornmeal. From our
research, Polenta is the name given to the porridge mush once liquid
has been added. The Italian name for cornmeal is farina d'avena .... according to
Google language translator.
You'll find recipes using cornmeal on both the Italy main page and throughout
the site. Use the search form to find them all.
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