I have some polenta in the cupboard that I can only assume is a family heirloom. The best before date has long since perished but the contents look okay.

Does polenta ever stop tasting of polenta?

  • Is this the pre-prepared kind of polenta, or basically coarse cornmeal? (I assumed it was the latter, but maybe not!)
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 20:28
  • Yeah, it's coarse cornmeal. I purchased it to make cornbread but didn't get around to it! Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 20:32

2 Answers 2


Yes, it can go bad.

It's pretty much the same as the way flour can go bad: the fats can go rancid. Grains are mostly starch, but they contain enough fat for rancidity to be a noticeable problem. There's a huge amount of variability in how long that takes, though. If it's airtight and kept in a cool, dark place, it'll last much longer than the best before date. But if it's been exposed to air, light, or heat, it can go pretty fast, perhaps even before the best before date.

So, smell it. If you detect any unpleasant smells, you probably don't want to eat it. Even if you don't smell anything obvious, it could still be subtly rancid, so if you're planning on serving it to anyone, you might want to cook a small bit to test.

  • Yep, I keep my stone-ground cornmeal in my freezer because I only ever use a few tbsp at a time unless I'm actually making polenta (the dish).
    – Catija
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 20:14

Yes for sure. Even though Polenta is a special traditional dish that can be consumed even after long duration of time. But, after sometime depending upon the environment you expose it, it will perish. It will not completely stop eating like itself but there will be some changes in taste, which is accepted as better changes by come whereas not accepted by others. You can expect to consume it within the double the time period of expiry (expected).

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