So it’s almost the middle of April and while other places are enjoying wonderful warm spring weather, we are going through a snow storm. That’s Calgary for you, yesterday was warm, beautiful and sunny and today it looks like Christmas outside. If you don’t believe me, check out the picture I just took outside. I struggled a bit with taking the picture because I wanted to capture the large snowflakes. They are the biggest snowflakes I have ever seen, they are bigger than a loonie and it’s coming down like somebody up there is pouring buckets of snow. As beautiful as it is, I’m afraid if it keeps up, we’ll have 3 feet of snow by tomorrow. These are the days when I thank my lucky stars that I don’t have a big commute to and from work anymore.
But I digress.
Polenta! Where do I begin? Polenta, or “Mamaliga” as we call it in Romania is such a traditional food in so many countries. The word itself is an Italian word, derived from Latin. Polenta is usually made with water and cornmeal. It’s very simple to make a basic Polenta. In Romania there are many versions of Polenta, depending on which part of the country you are from. One way I grew up eating it is with layers of feta cheese and bacon, you can find the recipe here.
In Romanian cuisine, Polenta is enjoyed as a bread substitute most of the time, but as I mentioned above there are many ways in which it can be eaten. Italians on the other hand make it a bit differently, instead of water they cook it with milk or cream and they add Parmesan to it. This is the recipe I decided to do this time. I have to say I really enjoyed the creaminess of this polenta and it was also very flavorful from the Parmesan cheese. But I love Parmesan cheese, I know some people don’t so much, I guess they don’t like the smell of it. If you buy the good Parmesan cheese and grate it yourself, it actually smells wonderful.
I decided to bake this polenta and then cut it in slices. It makes a wonderful snack, a great appetizer idea or even as a side dish. Polenta is something I grew up eating, and it’s one of those dishes are close and dear to my heart.