On polenta types.
I bought a cornmeal brand(some house brand or albers cornmeal, i think) which was degerminated and it had a sand texture before cooking and had a "cream of wheat" smoothness with visible soft grains in it:
I then bought "Bob's red mill corn grits or polenta" which was also degerminated and it had a strong corny smell, the texture before cooking was floury and speck of coarse grain, when cooked it looked like a pudding with no visible grain and was slightly bitter:
I prefer the smooth cream of wheat style of cornmeal over the corny and bitter corn grits, but what is the main difference in type, is the milling process different? are the corn picked at a different stage? are chemicals used in on brand or another? is the breed different?
Wooh, i really love my porridge!
We've discussed the difference (if any) between cornmeal, grits and polenta in several threads shown in the side bar.
I think the differences that you notice are largely due to milling. Stone grinding grinds the whole kernel, and then uses sifting to separate the finer flour and meal from the coarser 'grits'. With steel roller milling it is possible to separate out the harder germ during milling (degerminated) and grind the rest quite uniformly.
Bob's also sells a stone ground cornmeal, which has mix of grain sizes.
I rarely cook polenta, but I prefer organic, coarse ground and definitely not instant.
I was very happy when I found that cooking it in a clingfilmed bowl over a waterbath makes great polenta.
Minimal stirring, no sticking/burning, and best of all, no soaking polenta-encrusted pots!