The word “Polenta” comes from the Italian language, representing a meal cooked with cornmeal, found throughout the world. One version of Polenta, called “mamaliga,” is a traditional Romanian dish.
Polenta is known as a peasant’s food, used as a substitute for bread when they were working in the fields and they had no time to prepare homemade bread. After concerns in Romania for diverse and healthy dieting have been brought up, research has concluded that polenta is actually rich in vitamins and recommended for people suffering from lung diseases associated with respiratory pathways.
Today, polenta is also found in restaurants and it is considered a luxury food in combination with other foods such as cheese and sour cream. This food is popular in Romania because the Ottomans put a tax on wheat when they conquered the country. The only alternative at that time remained corn, which was more nutritious.
One of the Romanian recipes for “mamaliga” is “polenta with surprises.”
– Put water in a small pot with a little bit of salt and let it boil.
– Pour the cornmeal in small amounts at a time while you mix it to prevent lumps from forming.
– When your polenta becomes more consistent (solid), keep mixing it for a while and stop the stove after you notice it gets a creamy consistency. Your polenta should look like a custard, not like a yoghurt. The consistency should allow you to spread it on a plate like a paste.
– Grab some of your finished product with a ladle and pour it gently on a flat plate.
– Stuff the polenta with sliced bits of fried sausage.
– Spread sour cream all over the surface of your poured polenta
– Place an egg cooked sunny-side-up in the middle.
– Grate cheese over the egg until it covers the egg yolk.
– Decorate the food with chopped parsley all over the surface.
Et Voila! Now, you can serve polenta with surprises to your guests or your husband and eat one of the best Romanian foods together with a history behind it to talk about at the dinner table. Bon appetite!