Not a Party Until the Polenta is Poured

Sometimes a big party gets a bit messy.

I think that’s half the fun, don’t you?

Family style polenta dinners originated in the Abruzzo region of Italy. I didn’t even know such a thing existed until I showed up one evening with my small daughter and parents.

After roaming the streets of what seemed like a nearly abandoned village, we started asking around and following our noses. Stepping into a rustic trattoria, we were seated at the end of a long table. Being American, we were obviously first.

Locals slowly began to trickle in and the smiles were a bit shy at first. No one spoke a lick of English but everyone knew how to share the wine, cheese and bread. One by one, dishes were brought from the kitchen and passed around. Eventually, the table was cleared and I thought to myself that this was a light dinner by Italian standards.

Then out came the polenta, on a giant board almost as long as the table where we all sat. A simple tomato sauce topping the dish. The steam from the board and the smell that wafted over me as it was set down in front of us. I wish I could bottle that for you.

Spoons were passed down and everyone dug in. Bite after glorious bite of warm polenta filled our bellies. We all laughed, bumped elbows and shared a moment that didn’t need Google Translate.

Go enjoy your moment.

Printable Recipe Here.

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italian cooking italy travel tips polenta party

italian cooking italy travel tips polenta party


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