Culinary Guide to Italy. Part I. Northern Italy
Italian culinary traditions have evolved over the centuries, absorbing elements of Greek, Arabic and Northern European cuisine, as well as neighboring France, Austria, Switzerland and the Balkans. Therefore, do not surprise the traveler with unusual names and recipes of traditional Italian dishes.
The Mediterranean climate is a paradise for cereals, so flour products are used everywhere in food and in huge quantities.
Typical italian food
So many varieties of pasta are not found in any country in the world. However, in a typical Italian restaurant menu you will never see the word “pasta” (in the lane “dough”) – each of its forms, from tiny rings of anelletti to giant sheets of lasagna, has its own name. Pasta also comes with filling. Therefore, in every region of Italy get ready to try something interesting.
You will find pizza on the menu of almost any Italian restaurant (at least two pages of items), no matter what region you come to. Pizza also includes its varieties such as calzone (closed pizza with a filling inside) and focaccia (a tortilla with herbs and olives that does not have a filling and is often used as bread).
Venetian Bigoli dish cooked in duck broth and served with roasted duck offal
Rice (risotto) is a typical Italian dish of the north of the country, which is prepared with mushrooms, fish, seafood or vegetables. Risotto sauce, common in the region, depends on its location (mountain, plain or seaside).
No restaurant menu is complete without appetizers in the form of ham (prosciutto) and cheese (formaggio). Each region has its own traditional varieties of these products that should not be ignored during your trip.
Many Italian dishes are found in the menu of restaurants throughout the country, regardless of the region in which you travel. However, over the centuries, regions developed separately from each other, which influenced their cultural, linguistic and even culinary identities. What regions there, often in different cities and even families they cook the same dish in different ways. The following are the most typical and popular regional dishes of Italy to add even more color to your trip.
What to try in Milan
Lombardy is the richest region, whose cuisine is very diverse. This is the birthplace of risotto and polenta (rice and corn are the main products of these fertile lands), bresaol ham and the famous mascarpone, gorgonzola and grana padano cheeses.
When preparing for a trip to the Northern capital of Italy and thinking about what to try in Milan, do not miss risotto alla Milanese (in Milan), risotto al pesce persico (with peach fish) and other fish dishes from Lake Lombardy Como; Among the meat dishes, the veal chop on the bone is noteworthy – Cotoletta alla milanese, veal roll Messicani, veal shoulder Ossobuco, trippa with white beans or “Busecca” and meat stew Cassoeula – a traditional winter dish.
No restaurant menu is complete without ham and cheese appetizers
Local Campari and Amaretto liqueurs, as well as champagne wines of the Chardonnay and Pinot varieties, which have become world famous, will be excellent gifts from the trip.
What to try in Turin
Piedmont is known for its sausages from a variety of meats. One cannot fail to mention Agnolotti with many toppings and Tajarin, the classic dish of Piedmont Fonduta – cubes of hot cheese cream with pieces of truffle, beef with vegetables Brasato al Barolo, fried snails (lumaca), pickled hare Lepre in “civet”, and also fried chicken allloa Marengo.
In addition, Piedmont is the birthplace of Grissini breadsticks, which you will now find on the table of any Italian restaurant, and Gianduiotto chocolate – a wonderful souvenir from Italy (especially if you bring it from the annual CioccolaTò Turin Chocolate Festival). Among the wines of Piedmont, the most famous brand is Barolo.
What to try in Genoa
Traditional Ligurian dishes combine elements of mountain and sea cuisine.
In Genoa, you should try the traditional Genoese pesto sauce, which is added to many dishes, including the traditional types of pasta Piccagge and Trenette al pesto; various types of focaccia; Boghe in scabecio fish and marinated cod stewed in olive oil Stoccafisso “accomodato”; vegetable dishes, including a thick soup of beans, beans and Mesciua wheat and peerless stuffed vegetables Verdure ripiene.
On the second, do not miss the Venetian cod Baccalà alla vicentina and calf liver Fegato alla veneziana. Well, you can finish the meal with traditional grappa, which improves digestion and mood. And remember that Veneto is one of the main wine producers in Italy!
What to try in Bologna
Emilia Romagna is the birthplace of tortellini with a variety of fillings and the notorious Parma ham. From here comes the king of cheeses il parmigiano reggiano, as well as the famous Bolognese sauce, often called al ragù in Italy, a pasta or lasagna with which you should definitely try in Bologna.
Emilia Romagna – birthplace of tortellini, parma ham and parmesan cheese
Other places in northern Italy
Influenced by Hungarian traditions in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, a wide variety of soups are very popular, including Jota vegetable soup. For a snack, enjoy one of the world’s best San Daniele ham and Montasio cheese (which dates back to 1200 and is the basis of many dishes, for example, crispy Frico cheese biscuits), and for dessert – the popular gubana (Gubana) – a type of sweet focaccia.
The cuisine of the Valle d’Aosta winter resort is very rich and nutritious. Only here you can taste the unique fat of Lardo d’Arnad. The most typical dishes for this area are polenta (polenta – corn porridge) with a variety of sauces, fondue and Brasati stew.
Well, the most delicious strudel in Italy you will have to try in Trentino Alto Adige, preceded by huge ravioli with cheese and Savoy cabbage, as well as traditional Ciuiga sausage with the addition of turnips.
In Genoa, you should try the dried cod stewed in olive oil
What to try in Venice
Among the pastas served in Venetian restaurants, the most traditional are Bigoli, which is cooked in duck broth and served with roasted duck offal, Casunziei – ravioli with zucchini or spinach, ham and cinnamon, as well as Lasagne da Fornèi with a sauce of butter, nuts, apples , figs, grapes and poppies. Of the risotto it is worth noting Riso con i “bruscandoli” (with boiled tops of hops), Risotto alla trevigiana with slices of pork sausages and Risi – rice with peas and brisket.