Mamaliga: The Traditional Family Cornmeal Mush

Mamaliga (pronounced in my family as mamma-legga and lovingly referred to by my boyfriend as “cheesy cream of wheat”) is the Eastern European version of polenta. In the Babitz Family, once of Russia, now of California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and New Jersey it is simply cornmeal mush with munster cheese.  As today is my birthday (whoo!) I thought it fitting to share a staple of my childhood and my ancestry. It is fairly easy to make, appealing to children, and cheap! This recipe went through my mother first- just to make sure I didn’t mess up either the dish or the origins.


1c. fine ground cornmeal

1c. cold water

3c. boiling water

6 oz. of grated “monster” (munster) cheese





In the top of a double boiler set over rapidly boiling water whisk together cornmeal and cold water until combined, gradually add the boiling water, stirring constantly. Once fully combined, cover mixture and let cook for 30 minutes, stirring often.  Then the consistency is that of thick cream of wheat, or runny polenta, take off of the heat.

Add grated munster, salt, pepper and paprika.



One Response to “Mamaliga: The Traditional Family Cornmeal Mush”
  1. Mark Zacek says:

    I’ve just perused your website. Nicely done! Lots of interesting things I have not seen anywhere else. I’m really looking forward to seeing where you take this. Best wishes to you and Jason for a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!

    P.S. We’re going to have to have a chat about Medieval History. I had no idea that was your degree. Now I understand why you should be so tuned in to the historical resonance of the “On” in “”!

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