Polenta is a versatile ingredient that you can use in a wide range of dishes—from creamy grits to firm cakes. However, there’s one issue with it.
Unfortunately, finding Polenta in the grocery store is a lot more difficult than learning how to cook it.
That’s because this ingredient comes in different types, and each type is located in different sections at the store.
But don’t fret because we’re here to help you out.
So where is Polenta in the grocery store?
Quick Answer: You can find Polenta in either the International Food Aisle or the Health Food Section.
But if you want to determine where’s the location of the different types inside the store, just keep on reading!
Where is Polenta in Grocery Store?
The location of the item will vary not only from store to store but also depending on the type of polenta you’re looking for.
For example, you may find Dry Instant Polenta in the Dry Grains and Cereals Section beside oats and grits. Some stores also store it in the Baking Supplies Aisle alongside flour and specialty cheeses.
On the other hand, stores often stock Tubed Polenta in either the Pasta Section or Refrigerated Area (near the tofu).
Since this ingredient is native to Switzerland and Italy, you’ll most likely find the different polenta types in the International Foods Aisle. It will be on the shelf where other Italian food items (risotto and pasta) are displayed.
You may also want to check the Vegan/ Vegetarian Food Section or Natural/ Organic Food Area if the store has such aisles.
What Does Polenta Look Like in the Grocery Store?
If this is your first time buying polenta, you might be wondering what it looks like. Here’s the tricky part: Polenta comes in different types, and each type would definitely look different.
The two most popular Polenta items in the grocery store are dry instant and tubed pre-cooked Polenta, so we’ll focus on those items.
Dry and instant Polenta comes in a small carton box with a small transparent plastic window that shows its content.
On the other hand, pre-cooked tubed Polenta comes in a tube-shaped vacuum-sealed plastic bag similar to that of sausage’s packaging.
Where to Buy Polenta Near Me?
To be honest, Polenta isn’t an easy product to find. Lucky for you, we’ve enumerated some of the best stores that sell this item below. Here they are:
This store probably has the most extensive Polenta options to choose from. They sell different types ranging from factory-processed to ground to pre-cooked, and many more.
Pro Tip: Visit the store’s official website to order the item online or download their mobile app to check its availability and location in the store.
Specialty Grocery Stores
You can certainly find Polenta in specialized stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Trader Joe’s has their own brand of the tubed version. On the other hand, Whole Foods offers some of the best brands so it’s a store that’s definitely worth visiting.
Health Foods Store
Given that Polenta is gluten-free, you can certainly find it in a lot of health food stores since their goal is to cater to all types of special diets and nutritional needs.
If you want to make sure that you can get authentic Polenta or some of the best brands, then you may want to head to one of the Italian grocery stores near you if there are any.
For the best shopping experience, Amazon is the website you should visit. Not only do they deliver straight to your doorstep, but they will also offer you the widest range of choices—from tubed to Instant Polenta to different brands.
The best part about shopping from this website is they also offer this product in bulk, so you can be able to save lots of money.
Which Polenta Brands to Buy?
Since you already know where to buy this item, then let’s tackle the next big question: which brand should you buy?
Well, we’ve narrowed down your choices to these top brands:
- Colavita: a gluten-free item manufactured by an authentic Italian brand.
- Bob’s Red Mill: Restaurant-quality product made with USDA Certified Organic products.
- Bellino: Vacuum-sealed for freshness.
- Roland: Ground polenta that’s available in a 5 lb. bag.
- Ancient Harvest: Traditionally formulated Non-GMO, Organic, Gluten-Free, and Kosher Polenta.
- Trader Joe’s: an Organic, Gluten-free, and Fat-free option.
- 365 by Whole Foods: Vegan formulation made with premium ingredients.
What to Keep in Mind When Buying Polenta?
Even after we’ve narrowed it down, we know that the choices can still be overwhelming for you. Lucky for you, we’ve provided a simple buying guide for you below.
Here are some of the factors to keep in mind when buying Polenta:
Polenta is made with two types of ingredients—wheat and cornmeal. These two ingredients have different tastes and textures that you need to consider.
Wheat has an earthy and savory flavor while cornmeal has a sweet and nutty taste. With that said, it’s best that you choose the ingredient that would work well with the other ingredients in your dish.
Choosing the right product is quite tricky especially since Polenta comes in five types, but we’ll only be talking about the most common versions you’ll find at the store—instant and precooked/ tubed.
Let’s start with instant Polenta which can be cooked in just 5 minutes because it’s a lot finer than the traditional formulation.
And then, there’s the precooked or tubed Polenta which doesn’t require any cooking time. To prepare this, all you have to do is slice the tube, reheat it, and you’re good to go.
When choosing from the different Polenta types, you need to consider the type of dish you need to make. That’s because the type you’ll use will significantly affect the texture and taste of your dish.
In particular, freshly-made versions create creamy and smooth dishes while the instant and tubed versions have a slightly grainy texture.
With that said, you may need to make it from scratch if you want your dish to become as smooth as possible.
If your convenience is your top priority, then you need to think about cooking time above all. With the instant variant, you can reduce the cooking time to only 5 minutes. But if you don’t want to cook it at all, then go for the pre-cooked version.
how to make polenta
What are the Best Substitutes for Polenta?
If you can’t find Polenta in the stores near you, then here are some of the alternatives that you should consider:
Make Your Own Polenta:
This creamy polenta recipe only requires three simple ingredients, yet it comes out beautifully thick and slightly sweet.
Perfect for a hearty side dish, this polenta is versatile enough to complement just about any main entrée.
Impress your friends and family with your culinary skills, while also saving time and effort in the kitchen.
Give this easy recipe a try and you’ll be enjoying delicious homemade creamy polenta in no time.
Here’s How To Make:
When cooked right, this can be a great replacement if you’re looking for a healthy breakfast dish.
If you’re looking for a side dish to savory vegetable and meat dishes, then you can use mashed potatoes as an alternative.
For a carb-heavy substitute, rice porridge is your best bet. The best part is you can use rice both as an accompaniment for savory dishes or as a dessert option.
If you’re looking for a low-carb alternative, you may want to check out pureed cauliflower. You can pair this with delicious stews and grilled proteins.
Where is Polenta in the grocery store? That would depend on what type you’re looking for. Here are some of the guidelines you need to keep in mind:
- If you’re looking for instant Polenta, you can find it either in the Baking Supplies Aisle or the Dry Grains and Cereals Section.
- For Tubed Polenta, you may want to check out the Refrigerated Area or the Pasta Section.
Other store sections you should check out are International Food Section or the Health Food Area.
With all the options available, finding and buying Polenta is quite a challenge. But since we’ve already provided you with all the buying tips you need to know, all you have to do is follow them to find the one.