From the L.A. Times
In Italy's Piedmont region, where polenta may be better loved than
anywhere else on Earth, the cornmeal mush is a food of the fall. When
the air turns crisp with the first frost and people await the arrival
of snow, housewives labor over their cooking pots, stirring, stirring
as coarse meal slurried in water gradually thickens and becomes sticky
and delicious. To serve, it's poured out onto a wooden board in a rich
golden puddle like a harvest moon.
Cesare Pavese wrote about it in "The Moon and the Bonfires," a nostalgic novel about a Piedmontese expatriate's return home: "These are the best days of the year. Picking grapes, stripping vines, squeezing the fruit, are no kind of work; the heat has gone and it's not cold yet; under a few light clouds you eat rabbit with your polenta and go after mushrooms."
We do things differently in Southern California. In the first place, fall can be even hotter than summer. Here polenta belongs to these damp chilly days of winter.