Ruffoni Historia Polenta Pot also know as Paiolo

Polenta Concia: an indulgent Piedmontese winter delight

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If you love Italian cuisine, chances are you have come across polenta (Italian traditional cornmeal porridge) in one of its many forms. Paired with hearty mushrooms or succulent meat stews, fried – used as a base for rustic, crispy crostini – or served as a luxurious appetizer, topped with quail eggs and freshly grated truffle. Polenta has many faces, but for the Ruffoni family – which grew up in the rich culinary heritage of Piedmont – polenta’s ultimate form is Polenta Concia.

The word "concia" translates to "well-seasoned" or "dressed", and that's precisely what this dish is all about – a polenta cooked to perfection with generous amounts of butter and mountain cheese – a humble, nourishing preparation that embodies the essence of Piedmontese cooking.

Like countless traditional Italian recipes, polenta concia finds its origins in the countryside. It was crafted in the homes of farmers and shepherds who, during harsh winters when fresh produce was scarce, turned to pantry staples like cornmeal and cheese for sustenance and comfort.

A testament to the Piedmont’s resourcefulness in transforming humble ingredients into culinary masterpieces, you really need next to nothing to prepare this Italian delicacy. Pay attention to the pot you use to prepare it, though.

When it comes to making polenta, using a genuine copper paiolo (Polenta Pot) is paramount. Copper's superior heat conductivity prevents lumps and ensures uniform cooking of the polenta, while its unmatched temperature control comes in handy for avoiding hot spots and preventing scorching. The unique shape of the Polenta Pot serves a specific purpose as well: its flared sides facilitate stirring and encourage the steady absorption of water into the cornmeal, resulting in a creamy texture.

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Meet the author

Famiglia Ruffoni

In the Ruffoni family, cooking is the language of love.
Many of our most cherished memories are linked to cooking and eating together and, even when physically apart, we always discuss old family recipes, share newly discovered ingredients and techniques, and show off our culinary creations through texts and video calls.

In this blog we share the simple, delicious recipes of the Italian heritage – as they have been handed down through generations of Ruffoni – along with our thoughts (and rants!) on all things copper.