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Feb 3, 2006 01:37 PM

Polenta vs. yellow corn meal

  • h

Is there any difference between dry "polenta" and yellow corn meal? Are the cooking directions the same? Thanks.

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  1. This was sort of covered below in a "bluecorn meal for Polenta" Question...

    The Short answer- They're basically the same thing. You may want to sift the corn meal through a fine sieve so you get the best texture.

    Low and slow is the key- the cmeal will stay gritty for a long time- but the result will be delicious.


    1. Well, they both make cornmeal mush! I think the polenta is a bit finer-grained, and less "corny" in flavor, but I'd be happy to eat or serve either one with a roast duck, whether as freshly-cooked and buttered or chilled, sliced and fried.

      Childhood memory: we had fried mush with honey for supper one night, and sometime after midnight a stomach-flu bug hit me, my brother and my sister simultaneously. Not a pretty thing. Oddly, the episode did not make mush distasteful to me, but it was several years before I could stand the taste of honey again.

      1. It's exactly the same thing with one "but." Grind size varies greatly on corn meal, whereas polenta is a little more standard, usually medium to medium/coarse.
        Cook it the same way, it's the same thing.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Aaron

          I've made polenta with stone ground yellow cornmeal several times with success. A 2-pound package costs 89 cents. If you buy a package that says 'polenta' on it, you'll pay $2.79 for 7 ounces. Fahgetaboutit!

          Actually, if you have both cornmeal and masa harina (Goya product), mix them in 2 parts cornmeal to 1 part masa to make a smoother polenta.

        2. One difference that hasn't been mentioned is that some polenta such as Golden Pheasant brand is degerminated, where as water-ground (stone-ground) golden cornmeal isn't and has the germ of the corn kernel and thus a bolder *corny* flavor that Will Owen mentioned.