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A yellow corn-meal (maize) grown in North-Eastern Italy, and a dish made from it. It is used a a carbohydrate in the way we might use potatoes. Sometimes flavoured with cheese, herbs or mushrooms. Any variety of corn meal will make the dish polenta.
Polenta, as a traditional dish, would only have been possible after maize was introduced from the Americas. But it's thought a similar dish had previously been made of chestnut flour. For recipes see our Recipe Section