It’s funny how tradition we make ourselves. The Polenta in the Piazza is a good example. It started only last year with the idea of making some polenta in the piazza and eating outside to celebrate the last sunshine of the autumn. It was also kind of a ceremonial retaking of the piazza after the summer onslaught of visitors to Barga was finally over.
Only its second year but already it feels like a traditional event.
The tables are set up, the water is put on the gas and the stirring of the polenta starts.
You need muscles to keep stirring the pot for 45 minutes but they were not in short supply yesterday as members of the Lake Angels were on duty to give a helping hand.
Polenta is made with ground yellow or white cornmeal, (ground maize). It can be ground coarsely or finely depending on the region and the texture desired. As it is known today, polenta derives from earlier forms of grain mush (known as puls or pulmentum in Latin or more commonly as gruel or porridge) commonly eaten in Roman times and after. Early forms of polenta were made with such starches as the grain farro and chestnut flour, both of which are still used in small quantity today. When boiled, polenta has a smooth creamy texture due to the gelatinization of starch in the grain, though it may not be completely homogenous if a coarse grind or a particularly hard grain such as flint corn is used