Potato polenta (“palenta kompirica”) fed generations and generations of the people of Grobnik, but they did not remain indebted to it. Today, the big Festival of Polenta and Cheese is organised in honour of polenta, family gatherings do not pass without it, and the dish has grown into a famous delicacy that every visitor to the Grobnik region wants to try. Few dishes have so many fans, so if you haven’t already, try this repeatedly sung about dish at the first opportunity. Bon appétit!
Today a delicacy and a top gastronomic pleasure, the potato polenta (“palenta kompirica”) emerged from the frugal tradition of our ancestors.
It is difficult to imagine Grobnik Field planted with corn today, but many Grobnik residents had a patch there and there were no plots of uncultivated land.Polenta was a substitute for bread in these parts because there was little wheat, and bread represented a delicacy.
Polenta was eaten with dishes that are on the menu every day such as various stews of cabbage and beans, turnips and beans, goulash, salted fish, fried eggs and ultimately Grobnik cheese, which in combination with polenta really gives a special taste.
Potato polenta is never the same, it depends on what kind of corn grain is used, how the flour is ground, the quality of the potatoes, whether it will be salty and less salty and many other little things that can affect the quality of the dish.
In 1994, Ines Žeželić, today Silić, wrote a poetic recipe for potato polenta.We present it here in full, and it’s up to you to try to make the dish.We’ll accept samples for tasting!
Move the metal ring from the stove,
Scrub the potatoes
Pour water into the pot
Don’t forget to load up the fire well,
Take the polenta spoon and mix
When the water boils,
when potatoes turn yellow add flour.
Then mashand mix it again
Take the pot,
But leave it to cook a bit more
Just let it cool down right.
When it’s all ready,
And leave me a little.
Polenta connects many things. It tells the story of the mill, and everything that flows down the Rječina River, both good and bad, is woven into it. The flour obtained from the corn kernels, known as yellow cornflour, is ground in Gašpar’s mill, which is looked after by Mr Bruno. And slowly does it, without rushing, the way the water flows and pours its power onto a wheel that spins and gives life to the mill.
Gašpar’s wooden mill next to the waterfall in Martinovo Selo, which is maintained today by Bruno Kukuljan, is the last of 27 mills on the Rječina River. It was renovated 11 years ago and it still performs its former function today. The grain here is still ground in the old-fashioned way, which can be rarely seen anywhere today, and this is especially interesting for youngsters who can find out here how flour is produced. You can also buy flour in the mill, and believe me it is the best flour for miles around.
The bright future of potato polenta
Potato polenta is more than an indigenous Grobnik dish.It is a part of its history and culture as well as everyday life to this day.It is no wonder then that Auntie Tonica, one of the most famous polenta cooks, talks about this polenta with special enthusiasm, or how the chefs at the festival cook 500 kilograms of polenta in her honour in the same rhythm with huge polenta spoons and no matter how difficult it is, and it is difficult, the tensiongrows in them about how the polenta will turn out each time.
Many caterers throughout the Grobnik region offer potato polenta on their menus, and you can also try it at the big Festival of Polenta and Cheese that takes place every June in Dražice.You can find out more about potato polenta at the website www.kompirica.com and spread its story.