Last updated: August 17, 2021

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Mediterranean cuisine has always been on everyone's lips: pizza, pasta, it doesn't matter. Everyone loves and knows these dishes. But who knows polenta? Admittedly, it's not exactly the best-known dish. Polenta is a Mediterranean corn porridge that can be used on its own or as a side dish. So a maize porridge as an all-round dish?

Hard to imagine? Then read our latest article on polenta right away. We will introduce you to different types of polenta, tell you something about its origins and give you a tip or two so that you can enjoy your polenta for as long as possible.




The most important facts

  • A distinction is made between coarse and fine polenta. Polenta is also available in a wide variety of combinations; for example, there are ready-made mixtures with porcini mushrooms.
  • The nutritional values of polenta are in the good range, which is why it is also suitable for dieters. In addition, eating polenta provides you with important dietary fibres.
  • The traditional production of polenta is extremely time-consuming, which is why people are increasingly turning to ready-made mixtures. Whether on its own or as a side dish, the possible combinations are extremely varied.

The Best Polenta: Our Picks

In order to help you decide which polenta to choose, we will introduce you to various representatives below. We have specially selected the most diverse varieties so that there is guaranteed to be something for everyone.

Buying and evaluation criteria for polenta

If you now feel like making your own polenta, you are probably wondering what criteria you can use as a guide when buying polenta. Of course, we have also done some research on this. We will go into the following characteristics in more detail:

Polenta is a dish with many facets. It can be enjoyed on its own or as a side dish. Hardly any porridge is as versatile as polenta. The yellow semolina, which used to be processed into traditional polenta with the greatest of effort, can now be prepared in no time at all. In the following, we present you with the most important evaluation criteria when buying a good polenta product.

Quantity

The maize grits used to make good polenta are available in a wide variety of sizes. You can treat yourself to anything from 500 grams to 5 kilos. It doesn't matter whether you want to feed a single person or a large family. Conveniently, the large quantities are usually divided into smaller individual packages so as not to invite uninvited guests.

Country of origin

Although polenta has its origins in traditional Mediterranean cuisine, nowadays the yellow maize semolina comes from all over the world. The largest producers are in Austria, Italy and Germany.

Nutritional values

The nutritional values of polenta are good, although it should be noted here that a diet purely based on polenta (as with any dish, really) can lead to deficiency symptoms.

This is due to a possible undersupply of the necessary minerals. The following table should give you an idea of the nutritional values in detail:

Nutritional values average information per 100 grams
Fat 0.6-2.8 grams
Carbohydrates 36-77 grams
Sugar 0.7-5.6 grams
Protein 6.8-19 grams
Salt up to 0.01 grams

Guide: Frequently asked questions about polenta answered in detail

Now that we have dealt with which products can be used to prepare polenta, we would like to take a closer look at polenta per se. This means we would like to address topics such as origin, preparation and storage as well as side dishes.

How do you prepare polenta?

Polenta comes from Spain and Italy. Originally, this food was used to satiate poor people, as it is very inexpensive. Polenta is a golden-yellow semolina made from corn. The porridge can be mixed with milk, vegetable broth or even water.

You can then choose to enjoy it immediately as a mushy side dish or process it further. If you decide on the latter, you must first let the porridge cool down so that you can then fry it cut into slices. The slices can also be baked or grilled.

Polenta

There are an infinite number of polenta recipes: whether with meat, vegetarian or even vegan - there is something for every taste. (Image source: Pixabay/ vinaygupta460)

If you have prepared too much polenta, this is not a problem. Either eat the rest the next day or put it in the fridge for three days. You can also store it in the freezer.

What side dishes go well with polenta?

As versatile as polenta itself is, so are its possible combinations. It can be combined with both sweet and savoury dishes - there are no limits to your ideas! However, to give you some inspiration, we have dug deep into our recipe box and researched various possible combinations.

If you want to enjoy the vegan version of polenta, you can easily combine it with vegetables, tofu or tomato sauce. Mushrooms go particularly well with this. As a veggie, you can also top your polenta with cheese. Rice or mashed potatoes are of course also a good option with the yellow gold.

If you prefer something fancier, try making a pizza out of your polenta.

Simply spread the polenta on a baking tray, let it cool and then top it as usual. The sweet version of polenta can be made into pancakes, for example. You can garnish them with cane sugar, berries, nuts or whipped cream.

Last but not least, there are of course polenta variations for meat lovers. In principle, you can enjoy your polenta with any kind of meat and a hearty sauce. However, a spicy ragout or herb sauce is particularly suitable. If you're still wondering what to do with fish, here's the ultimate tip: put a delicious fish fillet or some prawns on the grill next to your polenta - you certainly won't regret it!

Conclusion

Polenta is a rather misunderstood representative of Mediterranean cuisine - but we hope that we have been able to change this with today's article. With our product selection, you have a wide variety of combination options, so there is something for every taste.

If you want to get started right away, we have also given you some tips on how to prepare and store it.

(Cover photo: BARBARA808 / Pixabay)

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