Sunday, 27 November 2011

Polenta

Inspired by the blog Norwegian Food Illustrated (by an Italian) that often looks into the (strange) eating habits of the Norwegian, I have decided to draw the attention to an Italian dish that I have some problems "accepting". The dish I'm talking about is "polenta", this yellow "cornflour-porridge" that almost every Italian love. But, for me it's something that is hard to "stomach"...

The Norwegians also have their eating habits when it comes to porridge. We have oatmeal/oatflakes-porridge for breakfast, rice porridge "every" Saturday and at Christmas time we make this porridge to bring to Santa Claus. We have porridge made of semolina and last, but not least - we have the porridge made of sour cream that very many serve the 17th of May when we celebrate Constitution Day. So, it's not that we're not used to eating porridge in Norway. It's just that we're used to sprinkle it with sugar and cinnamon. Which is far from what the Italians use on their porridge....

Here in Italy the Italian mamma spend lots of time preparing the polenta - it takes more or less one hour to make it and all this time it needs stirring so it doesn't stick.

When it's ready to be served to the guests she puts it on the table and since I'm Norwegian I also expect to find sugar and cinnamon to sprinkle over the porridge. But here you don't get any sugar and cinnamon. What you get spooned over your porridge is tomato sauce with meat!!!? So, what's the connection between porridge and tomato sauce? Because I don't get it.... But that doesn't seem to bother the Italians.

They eat their polenta with mushroom and cured meat...




or some kind of stew...
The first two pictures are taken from Wikipedia



or with the aforementioned tomatosauce with meat - sprinkled with parmesan cheese....

The picture is from Lo spicchio d'aglio


While I'm still wondering: "Where is my sugar and cinnamon??"


A funny story I once read in a magazine goes like this: Two American tourists on holiday in Italy visited an Italian family. The Americans didn't speak any Italian and the Italians spoke very little English.

The Italian mamma served polenta - which remember, is made of cornflour. In Italian this flour is called "mais".

The Americans asked what the porridge was made of and the Italian mamma answered proudly: It's made of.... (she didn't know the English word "cornflour" so she had to use the Italian one....) which in the end made here say: It's made of MICE!! (For those who doesn't know Italian I can tell you that the Italian word "mais" is pronounced exactly like the English word "mice").

I'm not sure if the American tourists wanted to taste the polenta after this....





13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello Linda, my name is Carlo (Liliana's husband). I lived in Canada before I married Liliana so I know exactly how you feel! Anyway I just wanted to let you know that my wife just loves your blog and all the cute comments you make. Keep up the good work Ciao.

Cara LINDA,
i tuoi post mi mettono sempre di buonumore,
brava!Bella la barzelletta sui turisti
americani.......,a me però la polenta piace
tantissimo,con tanto sughetto,la salsiccia
piccante e tanto parmigiano,che ci posso fare?
Baci cara,alla prossima!
LILIANA

A Foreigner in Italy said...

Thank you both for the kind words. Nice to know that you people out there understand how I feel!

I like most of the Italian food, and I also eat the polenta when my mother-in-law makes it. However, it's not on my top list... But, who knows, maybe I get used to it after a few more years in this country??

Baci!

demie said...

once i bought poleta flour by mistake. i used it to make something greek that should have semule gryn... no good! ellers har jeg ikke smakt ordenlig poleta men jeg har en følelse at jeg skal se etter sukker og kanel jeg og...
sorry språk fortvilelse. klokka er 5.28...snart skriver jeg på gresk til deg ; )

Vesle Serena said...

I felt the same way when i tasted norwegian RISGRØT, rice pudding/porridge? I used to eat it salty when I was little, and it took me a couple of years to like the cinnamon sugary version of it. I am still not the biggest fan.. And why every saturday?? My father-in-law still eats it every saturday, and you cannot SKIP it! To me risgrøt is babyfood :) And of course I love polenta!

A Foreigner in Italy said...

Du er tidlig oppe Demie. Ikke rart språkene går i surr for deg.

I'm happy that you agree on the sugar-and-cinnamon-thing!

A Foreigner in Italy said...

Serena: I can understand that you feel rice porridge is babyfood. It's not the most sophisticated kind of food in the world... And I have no idea why it is eaten every Saturday. It's just a tradition that's passed on from generation to generation...

And you liking polenta is no surprise, I guess. I don't think it's possible to find even ONE Italian that doesn't like the polenta ;-)

New Life in Spain said...

Hmm....grøt med tomatsaus og kjøtt...hmmm ;) Er ikke helt sikker på den altså! Tenker jeg holder meg til sukker & kanel!

A Foreigner in Italy said...

Det er rart hvor forskjellig smak vi har. Kanskje jeg skulle testet ut risgrøt med sukker og kanel på italienerne? Siden vesle Serena sier at hun var vant med den salte utgaven av denne grøten tidligere så kan jeg jo forsøke og se hva de sier til den søte varianten.... Eller jeg kan prøve med semulegrøt.... Eller kanskje ikke. Det er ikke sikkert jeg hadde "overlevd" den harde dommen som helt sikkert hadde blitt meg til del...

Trollmora said...

hmmm... polenta er pudding! hihi

Og du? Jeg må jo skynde meg å skrive en kommentar her inne nå før jeg blir så travelt opptatt med alt det som kjendisbloggere er travelt opptatt med ettu.... gurimalla.... anonym lavpannekommentar til lille trollmora... wow....

hihihihi

Ha fine dager vennen og takk for en humoristisk kommentar :)

A Foreigner in Italy said...

Trollmor: Kjekt at du i din travelhet hadde tid å stikke innom og besøke andre som ikke er fullt så glamorøse kjendiser som deg selv. Hihi! ;-)

Du ser forskjellen her hva? Jeg blogger om noe så hverdagslig og kjedelig som polenta mens du (heldiggrisen?) allerede er på vei opp i en annen liga...

Ha fine dager du også - og glem at det finnes "små" mennesker.

Nora said...

Haha, morsom historie. Her i Frankrike spiser de også en del rare ting, men veldig mye godt også !

A Foreigner in Italy said...

De har veldig mye godt her også, men det finnes altså en del merkelige kombinasjoner som jeg ikke klarer å venne meg til.

Har du forresten fått servert froskelår eller snegler i Frankrike??

Fru Hansen said...

Heisann! Spennende blogg du har! Hvis du vil kan du registrere den på
http://norskereiseblogger.blogspot.com/
der jeg samler blogger fra nordmenn på kortere og lengre reiser i utlandet.
Ha en flott adventstid! :)

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