Polenta: A version of cornmeal mush originated in Northern Italy. Coarsely ground yellow cornmeal is cooked with stock or water and flavored with onions, garlic, and cheese. Polenta may be eaten fresh out of the pot - a perfect accompaniment to stews. Polenta may also be poured into a greased pan and allowed to cool, set, and harden. It is then sliced, sautéed, fried and topped with everything from cheese to tomato sauce.
Grits: Another version of cornmeal mush originated in the American south made from hominy or plain corn that's ground until it has the consistency of coarse sand. It's used as a side dish, a breakfast cereal, or as an ingredient in baked goods. Varieties include quick-cooking grits and instant grits. Most grits come in a choice of grinds — coarse, medium and fine and can be cooked with water or milk — usually by boiling or baking.