The expression “mangiapolenta” (polenta eater) is used to define, in a joking but sometimes also derogatory way, the inhabitants of northern Italy, especially the Veneto and Lombardy, where the greatest amount of polenta is consumed due to the temperatures generally lower. Violetta can undoubtedly claim to be a half polenta eater, since her mother was from Veneto and polenta was therefore a widely consumed dish in her family, especially during the winter. Hot polenta with sausage and ribs sauce, baked polenta timbale with meat ragù and cheese, roasted or fried polenta.
Violetta recently cooked polenta here in London, simple bites of grilled polenta to eat with sausages and broccoli, just like she showed you in this recipe. Some friends of Francesca have tasted polenta for the first time in their life, and they were thrilled.
“Just think that one of them – said Francesca – wanted to eat it in milk!”.
“Like grandmother Bianca”, Violetta replied. Polenta with milk is a peasant dish of ancient origins, comparable to a cup of porridge. It is a simple cup of hot polenta with the addition of cold milk and sugar, or chunks of cold polenta (toasted or not) with the addition of hot milk and sugar. A richer version involves adding some raisins to the polenta, which makes this dish a complete and nutritious breakfast, suitable for facing cold winter days.
And now that we have discovered that polenta can also be sweet, I really have to tell Violetta to give you the recipe for polenta fritters. I don’t like frying too much because I get very dirty, but in this case I will make an exception because those fritters are so delicious!
2 thoughts on “Page #2 – Mangiapolenta”
Polenta is great with milk. Alternatively, I also love to put a tad of butter and melt a couple of soft cheese wedges in it, such as the Laughing Cow brand. It makes a delicious accompaniment for veggies such as eggplant, sautéed mustard greens, or zucchini, or really, just about anything. Try it with a nice caponatina, and you have the perfect marriage of Italian North and South.
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You are right Karen. Polenta, as pasta and bread, is a perfect accompaniment for everything! And I personally love mixing the culinary tradition of northern and southern Italy, as well as contaminating Italian kitchen with suggestions from the other cuisines in the world