I feel this is violating at least one law of physics. I’ve tried twice now to make polenta recently. All my life it’s worked as expected. But these last two times the cornmeal starts to setup within a few minutes of stirring, then progressively begins to reverse course until it’s just water and some grit at the bottom.

The cornmeal was bought about a month ago.

Does anyone have an explanation for what can cause this?

  • 3
    Hi! Welcome to Seasoned Advice! Posting your recipe (ingredients + method) would be helpful for anyone who is trying to answer
    – AMtwo
    Mar 29, 2020 at 3:51

1 Answer 1


It sounds like maybe you have introduced an enzyme (such as alpha amylase) into your polenta. What is in your recipe? You might try cooking your polenta at a boil for at least 30 seconds.

  • 3.5 cups of water, 1.5 cups cornmeal, 1tsp salt, .5tsp cinnamon. Bring salted water to a boil then stir in cornmeal for about a minute. It thickens somewhat. Reduce heat and keep stirring, but that’s when it starts to loosen and turn watery.
    – xl600
    Mar 29, 2020 at 14:33
  • Corn naturally contains some amylase. There are also varieties of corn that have been engineered for commercial use, such as Enogen which have high amounts of alpha amylase. Try cooking your polenta to a full boil for 30 seconds as I suggested and see if that helps. I'd be curious to know your results.
    – myklbykl
    Mar 29, 2020 at 16:01
  • xl600: please update your original question with the cooking information
    – FuzzyChef
    Mar 30, 2020 at 23:02

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