In its simplest form, polenta is a porridge dish made from ground yellow corn (often referred to as cornmeal). It is native to Northern Italy and some parts of Switzerland, but is now a staple in many homes and restaurants, due to its versatility. It can be eaten as a breakfast cereal, porridge side dish, fried and eaten with sauce, or baked and topped with cheese.
Wondering where to find polenta in the grocery store? Here, we will show you the aisles to check and the stores that are likely to carry them. Let’s go!
What Aisle Is Polenta Located In Grocery Stores?
The location of polenta could vary from store to store, depending on the type of polenta in stock. Since polenta is Italian, most grocery stores stock it in the international aisle, alongside other Italian foods. Tubed polenta can be found in the pasta aisle, or in the refrigerated produce area (near items like tofu).
Dry, instant polenta can be found in the cereal, grains, or baking aisle where flour, grains, and specialty cheeses are kept. If your grocery store has a section for vegan/vegetarian goods, you can also check there for polenta. Lastly, you could check the natural/organic foods section, or ask a store assistant for help.
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Types of Polenta
Polenta comes in different forms based on the method of its preparation. The major types include
- Coarse Ground Polenta
- Finely Ground Polenta
- Instant Polenta
- White Polenta, and
- Precooked/Tubed Polenta.
Coarse and finely ground polenta were both made from yellow flint corn. The only difference was that finely-ground polenta was ground more finely than coarse-ground polenta. White polenta was made from ground white corn, while instant and precooked polenta are factory-made.
Of all the different forms, the precooked polenta is the type mostly found in grocery stores. It usually comes in a tube-shaped wrap.
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Where to Buy Polenta Near Me
If you couldn’t find polenta in any of your local grocery stores, you could stop by any of the stores below to shop for it.
Amazon would be a great spot to shop if you are more convenient with online shopping. You can go through the different vendors for a wide variety of tubed and instant polenta. Plus, Amazon offers bulk deals on their products, and home delivery services.
Walmart also has plenty of polenta brand options that you can choose from, ranging from ground or factory-processed. The online store locator on their website would show you what brands are available in the store closest to you. Walmart stores commonly stock brands like Bob’s Red Mill, and Food Merchants.
3. Whole Foods Market
At Whole Foods, you can buy 365 Everyday Value Yellow Polenta or any of the several other brands available.
What each Safeway store offers may vary, but common polenta brands they carry include Bob’s, Red Mill, and San Gennaro.
Kroger stores carry a wide variety of polenta brands, like Bob’s Red Mill, DeLallo, Ancient Harvest, and Bellino. You can get DeLallo Instant Polenta in the dry goods and pasta aisle.
Publix also stocks brands like San Gennaro and Ancient Harvest, among many others.
7. Local Health Food Store
Polenta is generally gluten-free, thus typically stocked in single and chain health food stores alike.
8. Ethnic Markets
Italian ethnic markets are a great place to shop for polenta. They receive polenta brands directly imported from Italy.
Best Polenta Brands
There are many different brands of polenta available in grocery stores. Some of our best picks that you should try out include:
- Bob’s Red Mill Organic Corn Grits/Polenta
- DeLallo Instant Polenta/Precooked Polenta Tube
- Colavita Instant Polenta
- San Gennaro Traditional Italian Polenta
- Aurora Natural Polenta
- Ancient Harvest Traditional Italian Polenta
- Trader Joe’s Organic Polenta
Great Ways to Use Polenta
Polenta is super versatile and can be added to a wide variety of recipes. You can make it buttery, cheesy, salty, or spicy depending on your preference and intended dish. Polenta is also highly nutritious, and healthy for consumption. It contains carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, and vitamin A.
Polenta is also gluten-free, has low-fat content, and is a great source of carotenoids which sums up a healthy heart diet. It also contains essential minerals like magnesium, iron, and zinc. It’s all amazing, isn’t it?
Some superb ways to serve polenta include:
- Polenta can be heated and served as it is, or topped with butter, cheese, sautéed peppers, onions, or any topping of choice.
- Polenta can serve as a base for any vegetarian dish, and be topped with savory vegetable sauce.
- Polenta can replace rice and pasta in any recipe and can be accompanied by stews or chilies.
- Softly cooked polenta, topped with fruits and nuts makes a great breakfast choice.
- Tubed polenta can also be baked, grilled, or fried and served with dips.
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Having worked in a grocery store in the past, I thought it wise to pen down a few things that you might be interested to know about shopping and navigating your way around the store.