Polenta is a type of cornmeal and is part of the staple diet of Italians and just as popular as pasta or pizza. However before the introduction of corn, polenta was often made with either faro, millet, spelt, chestnut flour or chickpeas. Polenta is known as a peasant food as it is filling but inexpensive to make and was commonly eaten in Roman times. It has a creamy texture to it (although depends on the grain used to make it) and can be eaten like a form of porridge or left to cool down and then cut into slices.
The polenta is mixed into a paste using water which is then cooked on a hot stone. This is a very versatile dish as it can be eaten on it’s own or as a side dish to a main meal. It is often used as a replacement for bread and pasta.