Ca' de Memi Eight Row San Martino corn is an ancient, non-GMO variety with large, long seeds arranged in 8 rows on the cob (hence the name). The seed is pearl-coloured on the inside, dark red-purple on the outside. This variety becomes ripe for harvest at the beginning of winter time (traditionally around St. Martin’s Day on 11th November).
Eight Row San Martino flour is stone-ground from whole seeds (wholemeal) and is not precooked.
HOW TO USE IT
It makes a beautifully unusual, purple-coloured polenta, great to pair with delicate meats, cheese, and lagoon fish.
To make polenta: bring a pot of water to the boil (usually the ratio is 1 part of flour, 4 parts of water), add salt and sprinkle in the flour, a little at a time, until it reaches a very soft consistency. Leave to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 50 minutes. Add a little hot water to soften the polenta when needed, and butter before serving.
WHY WE LOVE IT
Delicious and with a vibrant colour that will make your recipes super interesting. Plus, learning of the existence of a seed library where all ancient grains are kept safe, intrigued us so much we are now wondering if such place allow visitors!
Ca’ de Memi is a small farm in the Venetian countryside, in North-Eastern Italy. The farm consists of only 13 hectares of land, owned and run by the Scquizzato family—who made it their mission to recover ancient varieties of maize in order to preserve local biodiversity.
Maize cultivation is deeply rooted in Venetian history since the 16th century. The culinary past, and present, of the “Serenissima” Republic of Venice is brimming with recipes that feature corn as their key ingredient: corn flour is used for polenta (a savoury cream used as a side for meat and fish), but also for bread, cakes, biscuits (zaeti are the most popular ones), as well as breading for fried delicacies (together with breadcrumbs). We visited Ca' de Memi in the autumn of 2021 and are happy to consider this a 100% Gold Beetle Certified™.