It’s dark, gray, frigid. There are blizzards and chapped hands and exploding frozen pipes. In other words, it is February, most people’s least favorite month. I’m a little warmer towards it simply because it’s my birthday month, but I’d much rather enjoy spring or fall than trudge through the depths of winter.
In fact, it’s been so viciously cold these last few weeks that I have been subconsciously transporting myself to summer days, when I don’t need to worry about wearing sixteen different layers or keeping my little tube of Aquaphor at the ready to soothe my weather-beaten knuckles and lips. I’ve been fantasizing about strawberries, and apricots, and cherries, and all of the delicious bounty that crops up once the soil thaws.
And then, I came across the polentina at Eataly, and knew I had to have it, immediately.
The polentina at Eataly is a frolla – like a short crust pastry – made with corn flour (hence the name, from polenta) filled with blueberries. Normally I stay away from unseasonal fruit, but there was something so tempting, so escapist about a blueberry filled cookie-tart in February that I decided to give it a go anyway.
And – surprisingly – it was a winning bet. The crust was firm and sweet, but dry and biscuity thanks to the corn flour, but the berries were plump, mellow, and jammy. The whole pastry was glued onto its golden cardboard with a slick of apricot jam, a fascinating way to facilitate mobility among baked goods. Admittedly, the polentina wasn’t anything like a Michigan blueberry pie in August, but it’s also a step above what you’d find coming out of your freezer case. For $4.80, it better be, but if nothing else, Eataly is known for giving you what you pay for, and they held to the standard here.
The days are already getting longer. Before you realize, it will be bright late into the evening. Until then, eat a blueberry pastry.