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1rentini are oten reerred to as polentoni`.more aectionately than derisiely. It is the ood that is the ery
symbol of the area. It is also one of the oldest foods eaten in Italy, dating back at least to 990 BCE. In its original
form, polenta-known to the ancient Romans as pulmentum-was a porridge made from spelt. In later ages other
grains such as barley and millet as well as pulses and even chestnuts were used to make various kinds of gruels
eaten generally by the poor. It is said to have originally been an Etruscan dish, which
the Romans adopted and spread throughout the Empire. It has a glorious history
helping Rome conquered its vast empire? Well, there are traditions that relate that the
Roman soldier was given each day a ration of grains called puls in which he made in
his very helmet a pulmentum. O course, it was not a corn or maize pulmentum.or
polenta since corn had not as yet arrived from the Americas. But indeed, polenta can
be said to have a glorious past. But did you know that it touched our very own
American history? George Washington, the Father of our Nation, the symbol of our
nation, got to savor his very first ethnic meal at Monticello at the hands of Thomas
Jefferson. George was served the one and only polenta that Jefferson had learned from
his mistress Maria (she was not a Trentina) when he served as the ambassador to France. Wow!
Let`s make polenta.It is easy to make but requires patience and care.
Ingredients: all you need is corn meal, salt and water. The corn meal
should be coarse or stone grown. If necessary, get to a health food
store to get the real things and not the flour like degerminated type in
so many of our supermarkets
Tools: Looking at the illustration, you will need a large
pot.preerably a copper pot ,transers the heat better,, a wisk, and a
large spoon or a polenta stick called a cana della polenta or a trisa.
You will also see the optional tabiel where the polenta is placed on completion.
Process: low much water Cannot say.I hae neer seen 1rentini measure the water or the corn meal. 1hey
filled the pot with water just below the brim and brought the water to a boil, added salt
and added the corn meal alla pioggia.like a rainall whisking all the time to avoid
lumps. The amount of corn meal is what needs the care..too little and it is soopy too
much and it hard to handle and hard to the taste. Once integrated, then you start the
turning with the trisa or the wooden spoon. Lower the heat just a bit and turn from
time to time. Many Trentini will insist that it takes 90 minutes. My mom would tell me
to cook it long enough so that it begins to detach itself from the parol.pot..so much
that when the polenta is ejected, the crosta..the crust comes out almost as a
shell (delicious to nibble on..truly corn chips!)

Whereas a pasta or a minestra are considered primi piatti, first dishes, polenta
is a combination and is both first and second dish. It partners with so many
things in the Trentino cuisine. It combines with Krauti(sauerkraut), luganega,
spezzatino (stew) of beef, veal, rabbit or chicken, cotegin (pork sausage), la
peverada (sauce made with bread crumbs and the water of the cotegin. We will
explore some of these combinations in future editions.

If you have a Trentino recipe that you wish to share or a recipe that you had enjoyed and wish us to describe,
do not hesitate to send it to us by email to louis.brunelli@att.net
Polenta with a boscaiola sauce
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