Winter polenta from Ioana in Romania
PART 1: Polenta (food is time-travel)
I never really thought about having polenta as a meal in itself, before reading Ioana’s letter. I’ve only ever had it in restaurants, as a kind of small accompaniment to protein, or as the stodge in which to trap the sauce: “Eye fillet with roasted heirloom carrots served on a bed of polenta and red wine jus” - that sort of thing.
But in Romania, Ioana paints a picture of her family gathered around the kitchen table in the winter, and polenta is their main meal. I imagine it being wild, wintry and dark outside - a bit like the “arctic blast” we are experiencing in Melbourne at the moment! - cosy indoors, the heaters are on and the windows are partially fogged up. The polenta is brought to the middle of the table in a giant serving-bowl, and everyone simply grabs a spoon each, and digs in.