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Old 03-21-2011, 10:19 AM   #11
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I've never thought of polenta as pretentious. Just the opposite.

Years ago it was popular on tv and on fine dining menus, but not so much anymore.

I make it because i like it. Same with grits. In the summer I grill polenta or grit cakes outside. It might be my favorite way of eating them.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:15 AM   #12
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I've never had "polenta" but I love my cornmeal and I love my grits! From what I understand, they are the same thing except for the grind.

It wouldn't matter if I won the lottery, I'd still be cooking and eating my cornbread, homemade corndogs and cornmeal breaded fried foods as well as my grits, fried grit cakes and breakfast casseroles containing grits. I guess maybe I'm a cook on the lower end of the culinary spectrum but I've never had any complaints
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:15 AM   #13
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Mama, are grits a coarser grind of cornmeal?
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:18 AM   #14
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Polenta, grits, potates, rice, bread.... in my estimation they are all butter delivery systems. They are the foundation for additional flavors.

I agree that prefab polenta roll is expensive and an unnecessary shortcut, but if folks want to spend their cash that way it's thei business, I guess. Have you noticed that they sell pre-cooked rice and mashed potatoes in the freezer section? Go figure....
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
Polenta, grits, potates, rice, bread.... in my estimation they are all butter delivery systems. They are the foundation for additional flavors.

I agree that prefab polenta roll is expensive and an unnecessary shortcut, but if folks want to spend their cash that way it's thei business, I guess. Have you noticed that they sell pre-cooked rice and mashed potatoes in the freezer section? Go figure....
Precooked RICE? You have GOT to be kidding me! I was rolling my eyes at the peeled and diced potatoes in the freezer section. Lordy that's a sad statement.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:39 AM   #16
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I've been eating polenta all my life, but that's because I have deep Italian roots.

And...I've also been eating fried mush (with butter and white corn syrup) since I was a child because of my Southern roots. I came from a large family and fried mush was a great way to fill up lots of hungry children on a weekend morning. I made it for my children and they like it as much as I.

We like polenta here mixed with garlic and basil and some Parmesan cheese. it's great as a side with chicken cacciatore. It's a wonderful canvas to slather with the tomato sauce.

I've seen the roll-like packages of polenta in the market and just shake my head. I wouldn't have the nerve to charge the $$ for precooked cornmeal, water and salt. Sheesh!
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:45 AM   #17
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Well Alex, here's the way I understand it: Polenta, cornmeal and grits all come from corn. Polenta and cornmeal are basically just different grinds, cornmeal being the finer grind. Grits, as well as Mesa come from hominy which is corn that has been treated with lye...grits being the coarser grind.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:50 AM   #18
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I think it's just a vocabulary thing, wanting to use the fancier word. I don't think of my corn meal as pretentious. I love grits. I even like the word.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:54 AM   #19
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I think it's just a vocabulary thing, wanting to use the fancier word. I don't think of my corn meal as pretentious. I love grits. I even like the word.
My late husband, Buck, was a Yankee and he discovered grits after we moved here. He loved grits and was always asking me if it's grits "is" or grits "are?" Told him I didn't know and didn't care as long as my grits were served hot.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:10 PM   #20
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Selkie, I totally understand how having something done the same way for much of your childhood could put you off it in later years. I am that way with red river cereal/porridge. I didn't like it then and would never eat it now. But I know that others enjoy it so it's not a problem.

I hadn't really experienced polenta until we befriended a family who spent 8 years in Italy. She, like my DH, is gluten intolerant (living in the nation of pasta!) and came to love polenta because it was made from corn. She showed me so many ways to make it and enjoy it. Then I went to culinary school and learned even more ways to use it. We "worked" in a fine dining restaurant for 3 months where we learned to make gourmet versions of potatoes, rice, polenta, couscous, etc. Yes, all bland on their own.

I would never buy the "instant" version of any of these starches, but I am sure there are people out there who would or they wouldn't stick around on the shelves.

Hmmmm, I am thinking about a Golden Chef Challenge - Polenta down the road?
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