Polenta (pohl-ehn-tah) is a type of porridge usually made from corn meal. It is popular in Italy and in Corsica, where it is made with chestnut flour.
Water, butter and sometimes grated Parmesan cheese are mixed into and cooked with the corn meal. When the mixture is cooked, it is left to cool, then cut into various shapes, fried and served as a garnish. The same mixture, omitting the cheese and adding sugar, can be used to make a pudding.
Polenta is also used as a bed for serving small roasted birds.