Cornmeal mush and semolinas
Corn is a large grain plant first domesticated by pre-Columbian peoples in South America and was imported in Europe after 1942, when Christopher Columbus discovered the new world. In Italy, this cereal is cultivated mainly in the North, giving birth to the “Civiltà della Polenta” (“Civilization of the mush”), together with some minor cultivations such as millet, barley and buckwheat. Nowadays people in mountain areas of Northern Italy still consume corn as a tradition, whereas cereal cultivation has always been predominant in the South, as weather conditions are more advantageous and the land is more suitable for sowing. The first types of mush made of durum wheat, farro and legumes like green beans used to be seasoned with vegetables and pork. Corn, also known in dialect as randinje, is present in the ancient recipes of Abruzzo’s culinary tradition with pizza or focaccia “de randinje”, a soft corn wheat dough, water and salt, just like the typical mush “all’abruzzese”, which differs from the one of the North in consistency of corn flour and is prepared with meat sauce, sausages, pork cuts, bacon and Farindola pecorino cheese, or with legumes in the “white” version.