Okay, what comes to mind when you hear the words "okra" and "grits". Why, the South, of course! Many of the Wild Things Farm CSA members are transplanted Northerners, so on the "Veggie Rating List" each season, okra is one of the most noted veggies on the "Do Not Want" list. One year a lady told me she didn't even want okra to touch her box! Hmmmmmm. Maybe it is an acquired taste, but I LOVE okra.
It's very pretty too, a member of the hibiscus family:
I really don't mind if some folks don't like it. That means more for me
Grits--that's another probably acquired taste, but I love grits as well. A "health blog" (shall remain nameless) the other day mentioned 10 foods that you should never eat; grits was on the list. Needless to say there were several negative comments regarding the author's choice of foods. Some of them like refined sugar, were valid, but some were kind of "eh", not that unhealthy in the amounts a normal person would consume.
Anyway, my ramblings bring me to the subject of polenta. I only heard of polenta about 9 years ago on a camping trip to Ossabaw Island (NC). One of the campers had brought polenta in a plastic tube that you just slice off and fry up in the pan. Hmmmm, cold grits in a tube. How interesting.
Then I started looking in the stores. Seems like polenta was a trendy sort of food. I found a recipe and made my own--it is very good, and sort of like pasta or rice, a good neutral base for all sorts of yummy toppings. I even did a blog about polenta several years ago. http://www.wildthingscsafarm.com/blog/2010/01/22/playing-with-polenta
A few days ago I was discussing food trends with my mom and dad, and my dad, who turned 80 this year, said his mother used to make polenta when he was a kid--huh? I asked him what she put on top and he said whatever was in the fridge that needed to be eaten.
There really is nothing new under the sun, now is there?