Polenta has a long tradition in Ticino and has been a staple food for a significant part of the population for centuries. Today, a genuine Ticino polenta cooked on an outdoor fire or in a fireplace is no longer so very common. Fortunately, there are many grottoes and Ticino restaurants which propose this traditional dish every day to their customers, prepared on a crackling fire as tradition requires.
Polenta is not a dish suited to those who are impatient: cooking polenta on a low flame requires approximately two hours, while stirring the polenta frequently. Those who are patient enough to wait will be rewarded with a genuine dish that has a splendid golden colour, and is to be accompanied absolutely by various Ticino specialities, for example, Alpine cheeses, ‘mortadella’ (Bologna sausage), braised meat, stew and many other tasty side dishes. Polenta is also exquisite, however, if accompanied only with fresh milk: the simple taste of times gone by.