Food trend: White Polenta is the new mash

Parmesan Polenta - image from

Parmesan Polenta - image from

I, for one, have never been bored by mashed potato.  In fact, a good steak is only made better by being served upon a sumptuous bed of comforting, homely mash, especially as it soaks up the juices and keeps the steak warm whilst you savour each morsel.  Still, it has to be assumed that Australia’s collective palate could be in danger of becoming jaded.  Why else would mash alternatives spring up from time to time?  (Never fear though, as tasty and trendy as they may be – think cous cous last winter – mashed potato never stays away for long.)

This winter, the emphasis seems to be on White Polenta.  Nothing wrong with that; we love our carbs and we don’t really care what they are.  Ok, within reason.  Under the direction of the trailblazing chefs whose fare we pay to feast upon, our taste buds have departed from the African continent that gave us cous cous, and we’ve skipped across to northern Italy where polenta has long been a carbohydrate staple.  Lest it seem like something old dredged up to be fashionable, it can’t just be any polenta.  Nope, it’s white polenta, make no mistake.  It’s on all the latest menus and mark my words, it’ll be the new mash you’ll be serving to your family before long.

No one can claim that polenta, white or otherwise, is particularly tasty but it serves a purpose, that’s for sure.  As with the aforementioned king of carbs, mashed potato, it sops up the goodies a treat and doesn’t dare clash with the robust richness of a rare eye fillet, nor does it meddle mischievously with the delicate freshness of a perfectly grilled fish.

Folks, white polenta could linger a while.  You might as well embrace it, just as you did focaccia in the 1980’s and pomegranates in more recent times.  Why not visit your local deli, pick up a packet and give it a whirl?  I promise you, it’s very rewarding to turn a dry grain into a silken delight in the warmth of  your fragrant kitchen on a Sunday afternoon.

Soft Parmesan Polenta recipe (from  The perfect cookware to make polenta at home is the como advanced 28cm Saute Pan or the 2L Saucepan.


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