Regions and places also express themselves through the food they produce, which is appreciated, cultivated and held in high regard. The Via Claudia Augusta is particularly rich in special foods that are inseparably linked to the areas, the people and their cultures. For many of these foods there are consortia that take care of them and even have their own festivals, usually annual, often among the largest and most important in the region. Some of these special foods are born where they are considered native. Some of them also arrived at some point, naturally on the Via Claudia Augusta. Discover the food from the Danube to the Adriatic Sea (Altinate) and the Po (Padana).
Developed by the Benedictine monks in 725, Bavarian Beer is still produced according to the old recipe: water, hops and oats. A beverage with different alcoholic-conetnt percentages ranging from 0.5 to 9, and with various colours, it is very versatile and is excellent with snacks, salads, vegetable, meat and fish dishes. Exported worldwide, its traditional places of consumption are however, the Bavarian beer-houses that attract thousands of tourists every year during the Munich Beer Festical.
From a cake consumed according to the tradition, above all on holidays and feast-days for its religious reference its shape with two rings joined by an arm symbolises arms crossed in prayer- the Brezn has become an all important element of snacks in the Bavarian culture, and also an indispensable complement with white sausage and liver pie. lt is a cake made from wheat flour, with a crust sprinkled with coarse salt or other seeds, and a soft and clear texture.
Typical of Franconia and Bavaria Swabia, the wedding soup is a light coloured, thick broth obtained by mixing various ingrediants: a broth with beef, lozenge-shape biscuits, dumplings, including those of liver typical of Swabia, and eggs. An elaborate dish, prepared personally by the lady of the house or by a cook with the help of an assistant, for a course intended to "warm" the wedding banquet.
Introduced at the beginning of the 19th century, asparagus growing is widespread in the Munich-Augusta-Ingolstadt triangle, in the territory of Schrobenhausen: the land, rich in clayey and sandy layers, gives the asparagus a strong taste with a walnut flavour. Harvesting takes place from mid April until the 24th of June, St. John's Day, a period when, according to the tradition, "Kirschen rot, Spargel tot", which means: the cherry is red, the asparagus is dead. The 600 asparagus growers are united in the Spargelerzeuger-Verband Südbayern e.V., Lenbachstraße 32, 86523 Schrobenhausen.
A typical pastry dish originally from Swabia, it is obtained with a rather gluey flour-based mixture cut into small pieces, hence the name Spätzle. After being cooked in boiling water, the Spätzle are seasoned with onions, salt, pepper and nutmeg and then baked together with Swiss cheese and cream: they are served when the pastry is crisp.
The traditional first course of Swabia, made with small pastry-eakes with meat or cooked vegetable filling and boiled in a meat broth: seasoned with lard, they can be consumed as a second course. Originally considered a food of the poor, Maultaschen can be enriched with fillings of quail meat, veal sweetbreads of veal or morel, thus becoming a choice dish.
Appreciated since the Middle Ages as a healing plant, the Radi has become a regular element in traditional Bavarian snacks. The typical bitter taste is made sweeter and milder with a sprinkling of salt on the thin slices into which the Radi are cut: these "leaves" of radish, flavoured with pepper and a knob of butter are a true delicacy, ideal for serving with an ale in the beer gardens of Munich.
The traditional cake for fasting days, prepared by families for respecting the rule of not eating meat on Friday.
Rectangular in shape, it has a golden-brown colour with a sweetish taste, and can be enriched with a filling of
cherries or plums. lt is eaten hot with fruit in syrup or with vanillacustard, or cold, together with coffee.
This is the traditional rural dish of Swabia, consisting of a "sausages" of finger thickness and five centimetres long, obtained which a mixture of boiled potatoes with a little flour, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Cooked in a pan with butter, they become golden brown and are ideal with roe goulash or rabbit stew, or can be eaten with sauerkraut and salad.
lts is an opaque yellow hard cheese, with a smooth a golden skin and-a characteristic walnut flavour. Produced with dayfresh full-cream cow's milk, it is put in a fermentation cellar where it forms the typical holes as a result of the gases produced; these cherry-size holes must be evenly distributed. lt was introduced in the region of Allgäu in the early 19th century from the Swiss region of Emmental, and preserves all the characteristics of the famous Swiss cheese.
In the panorama of grappas, the Tyrolese grappas, distinguished by the Tyrol Quality mark, stand out for the raw materials used, berries or stone fruits, and tor the procluction method featuring double distillation: this results in particularly fragrant grappas with a rich aftertaste. The Stanz plum grappa is famous.
Sorb-apple Grappa is one of the Tyrolese grappas in most demand obtained from mountain sorb-apples patiently picked and carefully separated from their stems, the distillate of sorb-apples preserves the flavour of the highlands, which improved in quality with an ageing process.
Tyrolese Speck is made with the meat of selected and carefully-bred pigs: according to a millenary tradition, it is obtained with a smoking procedure·at moderate temperatures. The meat, smoked with the smoke of coppice wood, is dried, hardened and flavoured, also thanks to the use of a mixture of spices that varies from valley to valley. A basic ingredient of snacks and in various dishes, Tyrolese Speck is particularly recommended for preparing Tyrolese Knödel with speck.
Despite the competition of sugar starting from the 18th century, honey continues to be sought-after as a sweetener and also as a healthy, genuine and inimitable food, and particularly that of the Alpine regions: among the renowned types frorn the Tyrol is the honey obtained frorn the rich flora of the Alpine rneadows and surnrner pastures, the honey of flowers of lime-trees and Norway spruce. The most characteristic of all, however, is the Miele di Rosa Alpina (rhododendron honey) with a high percentage of glucose, obtained frorn the Rhododendron ferrugineum, a plant with rust-coloured leaves and beautiful flowe,s that grow high in the mountains.
The history of the Alpine regions is full of information regarding the production of cheese, a very nourishing food that can also be consumed in the winter season. 0ver the centuries, the different geographic, weather and environmental conditions of the Alpine regions and the various types of cattle rearing influenced the methods of working milk, thus leading to the creation of typical products with a variety of flavours, traditionally produced also using different types of cow's, sheep's or goat's milk.
Graukäse cheese is the typical Tyrolese cheese. The milk is skimmed, enabling the production of butter with the cream and, with the milk, the production of a typical bluish or greyish fatless cheese with a rather sour, strong and spicy taste due to the fact that salt, pepper and also aromatic and medicinal herbs are used during its preparation. Tiroler Almkäse cheese, on the other hand, is a traditional summer mountain pasture eh se produced with skimmed cow's milk.
In the Alpine regions of the Tyrol there is a grey breed of cattle which, by virtue of a millenary adaption process, can be deemed indigenous. Formerly sought-after for its strength as a work animal, it is now a cow with a dual aptitude: the milk and the meat it produces, enhanced by the feeding conditions of Alpine pastures, are of excellent quality. The milk of the grey cow is used for making a cream based on a true Tyrolese confectionery delight: the Tiroler Edle, bars of milk chocolate with refined creamy fillings with late Tramin grape wine or grappa made with Oberland plums, or a fresh mountain cranberry jelly. Only at the Hansjörg Haag patisserie, 6500 Landeck Maisengasse 19.
Always the friends of man for their aromatic and medicinal properties, in the warm and sunny Obergricht valley, today the herbs are cultivated by combining traditional techniques and modern methods, including their preparation in a dryer. lt is mainly the women, always the repositories of a traditional knowledge of medicinal herbs, who attend to the cultivation of Marigold, Cornflowett Bee Balm or Lemon Balm...They have numerous culinary and medicinal uses.
Exploiting the favourable environmental conditions, a and with good exposure to the sun, high temperature differences between day and night and a mild climate despite being over 1,000 metres a.s.l., thanks to the beneficial effect of the Fön, fruit-growing characterises the economy of various towns in the vicinity of Landeck: the renowned Stanz Plums are excellent when eaten fresh, and are used for making jams, delicious liqueurs, numerous grappas, tasty fruit mixes and plum cakes, as weil as strudel and gnocchi.
These are thwo curative waters with beneficial effects or kidney liver, intestinal and stomach disorders, as well as for the respiratory tract and thyroid, and also recommended in diets. Acetous Water has been offering its benefits since the early 13th century and is reputed to have cured the ailments of many poweful figures, including Archduke Ferdinand. Therapeutic cures are possible in the localities of Ladis and at the spa of Obladis, where there is a suphur water spring.
A typical product produced throughout the Upper Adige and in particular the Val Venosta, Upper Adige Speck is made with leg of pork, spiced with bay and juniper berries, smoked and cured. It can be enjoyed raw, with black bread or dry flat loaf, or used in various dishes, such as the traditional Upper Adige canederli. Available in Italian and European supermarkets.
Originally from Val Venosta, Paar! is a rye bread flavoured with caraway seeds, fennel and "Brotklee" with the classic eight shape being formed of two joined loaves. lt can be enjoyed with speck or cheese, or in hot soups. Available in baker's shops in the Val Venosta, Val d'Ultimo and Val Pusteria.
The particular climate of the Adige valley - high insolation, wide temperature ranges, limited rainfall - has favoured apple growing since the Middle Ages. Today, the name Upper Adige Apple indicates various varieties: Granny Smith and Pink Lady in the lower Adige area, Fuji and Royal Gala towards Bolzano, Rell Deliciouss and Braeburn in the Merano basin and Golden Delicious in Val Venosta. The Upper Adige Apple is eaten fresh and is also used for producing juices and concentrated juices as weil as being the basic ingredient for the traditional strudel.
The mountain environment and the quality of the fodder give rise to the particular characteristics of Stelvio - Stilfser cheese, a soft, cooked cheese obtained from skim milk with the addition of particular milk enzymes that determine its fragrance and flavours. Recommended as a dessert or hors d'oeuvre. On sale in cooperative dairiesrin the Upper Adige and in other regions of ltaly.
Cultivatetl for over a century in Val Venosta, the Marille apricot has a clear and compact pulp, and a fine and elegant fragrance. Harvesting begins towards the 20th of July and continues throughout August. The fruit is available in shops in the Upper Adige. Tasty canederli can be prepared with the Marillen.
Lagundo is a hard goat's cheese produced with full-cream milk available only from Easter until the end of August, from goats bred in the farms of the Merano district. lt can be enjoyed with traditional boiled potatoes with salt and can be used in the preparation of canederli with cheese or sprinkled in flakes on potato dumplings. Ideal with a good full-bodied red wine. On sale in the Merano area and at various cooperative dairies in the Upper Adige.
In the large frankfurter family, the Meraner Würstel - or more correctly, Meraner hauswurst - is distinguished by he mixture, spices and preparation. it is a fresh sausage made from prok (70%), beef and bacon, seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, sweet majoram, garlic etc., steam cooked then smoked. It is served with sauerkraut, medium-strong mustard and with a good beer. Available averywhere in the Upper Adige and in various Italian supermarkets.
The Terlano asparagus, grown on the narrow flatland at the bottom of the valley and fertilised by the Adige on an area of ten hectares, is particularly excellent fot its taste an sonsistency. It is enjoyed with Boznersauce (Bolzano sauce), and Spargelwein, a cuvée produced mainly with Pinot Blanco. Available throughout the province of Bolzano in season, from March to June.
A vine species par excellence from the Bolzano basin where it is grown on an area of 152 hectares, Lagrein is a dark red wine with a smooth and full-bodied flavour, ideal for roast meats and garne. Lagrein Kretzer, on the other hand, is a lighter and versatile rose'wine.
Aromatic Traminer, produced on 143 hectares, nearly all in Terme o, is a white wine with a full, intense and slightly bitter flavour, pleasantly fragrant, with a yellow-green aml straw-yellow colour. Suitable as an aperitif or with hors d'oeuvres and desserts, it is also excellent for preparing traditional dishes such as roe-deer cutlets with Traminer Available in the best ltalian and European wine shops.
A typical dish of the Alpine areas, Sauerkraut represents an old method for preserving vegetables: the head cabbage, pressed with water and salt and flavoured, keeps fresh for the entire winter period. lt goes weil with various dishes. The sauerkraut of Trentino produced in Val di Gresta is renowned.
Appreciated since the 16th century, Traut and Char have formed the basis of sh farming in the Trent district, carried out in modern facilities since the late 18th century. Thanks to the cold waters and consequent lengthening of the production cycle, leaner and rmer traut with a more slender shape similar to wild traut are obtained. The Traut are processedf a single centre in the form of gutted, hat and cold smoked trout, fresh or steam-cooked llets, paste and cakes.
A member of the big Lucanica Trentina (Trent sausage) family that embraces various traditional dressed pork products, Lucanica Mochena is one of the most representative for its strong identity tied with the "Mocheni", a folks of German origin settling in the Fersina valley in the 13th century. Produced with pure, cured and smoked pork, it can be served alone or cooked on the hotplate and served with polenta.
0btained from the distillation of marc, Grappa Giovane Trentina has the characteristic of being made with marc coming exclusively from protected grapes of the Trento district: distilled according to the traditional "double boiler" method introduced by Tullio Zadra, or with inore modern production methods, it is made mainly in small and family-run distillerie:;;. Among the most appreciated are those produced with the marc of a single vine species. Recommended as a digestive liqueur.
The Trento Controlled Designation of Origin is reserved for white and rose sparkling wines produced using the method of bottle fermentation, which represents almost 40% of Italian production. To the still base wine made with Chardonnay and/or Pinot Bianco and/or Pinot Nero grapes, sugar and selected yeasts are added. The wine thus bottled begins a second fermentation, followed by a resting period of at least 15 months on the yeasts (at least 24 months for the indication of the vintage and at least 36 months for the product Riserva), the elimination of the residues, the dosage and finally the sealing with the cork. To confirm its undisputed quality, in 1993 Trentino sparkling wine was awarded the D.O.C. Trento registered designation of origin, the first of its kind in the national framework.
The product presents itself with a crystalline straw-yellow colour, which is even more intense in the Riserva, fine and persistent sparkling, fine and elegant, fruity, floral and fragrant bouquet with a slight hint of yeast; dry, fresh, soft and harmonious taste.
The Trento D.O.C. is a rounded wine, suitable as an aperitif and to accompany the whole meal, after being served with a wide variety of dishes, such as fish, white meat, risotto and fried vegetables, cold meats and mature cheeses.
An indigenous vine species par excellence, Teroldego rotaliano D.O.C. is considered the "Prince" of Trento wines: cultivated in the Rotaliana Area, Europe's most beautiful vine garden, it features a deep ruby-red colour and a bouquet of woodland fruits. When new it goes weil with cheese saufe and in-between dishes. When ge it is excellent with Salted Meat, game and ripe hard cheeses, such as Vezzena and Trentingrana.
Selecte in 1882 by the Swiss researcher Dr. Hermann Müller, ifrento 0.0.C. Müller Thurgau is obtained from a vine species hich, thanks to its good adaptability to the cold climate of the mountaln regions aandearly ripening, has found its natural habitat in the lands of the Val di Cembra at over 500 metres a.s.l .. Straw-coloured wit a'fruity bouquet, it is ideal for rst courses with shellsh sauces or with barbecued sh. Excellent as an aperitif.
Maize, introduced in the 17th century from America, maize gradually replaced the previous grain crops such as wheat, rye, oats and millet and in the 18th century had already become one of the basic dishes of the Trento area, namely with polenta Today, the cultivation of Spin maize and valsugana Flour promotes the consumption of this traditional food: polenta is ideal as a side dish with a single dish based on cheese, or meats, game and sausage. lt is excellent with sauerkraut, every type of luganega (sausage), and woodland mushrooms.
Before the introduction of Trentingrana, the hard cheese Vezzena represented the typical seasoning cheese. Produced in the farms and dairies of the Vezzena tableland and the mountain areas of Lavarone, Folgaria and Luserna, it was sought-after in the Trento district and in Veneto and also by the imperial court of Vienna. Today it continues to be produced with the milk of traditional dairy cattle breeds, such as the Brown, Alpine Grey, Rendena and is markade "M" ("malga" or mountain farm) stampedo the cheeses.
The particular geographic characteristics of the Feltre-Belluno area, with its narrow valley-bottom plains, ample-meadow and woodland areas on the slopes of the mountains and still more ample Alpine meadowlands, have always favoured the growth of stock-rearing, with sheep and goats up to the end of the 18th century and then decidedly more oriented towards the cattle sector, always integrated with the breeding of farmyard animals.
Clear traces of that tradition have remained in the traditional cuisine which, alongside the many beef dishes, is still able to offer recipes with an old flavour, recalling the households of the past, and that still maintain the classic preservation methods by smoking, as in the case of smoked mutton or in the Plindole, which are thin strips of smoked meat of different animals, or with the eat preserved in the form of sausages, such as Belluno Salami and other sausages.
If honey is produced everywhere in Veneto, it is above all in the Pre-Alpine foothills of the Treviso area and the Feltre-Belluno valley hich, thanks to the richness of habitats distributed from the bottom of the valley to middle to high mountain areas, that honey finds a variety of unique expressions: from lime and chestnut honey to refined acacia and even rhododendron honey. And thanks to a valley bottom not overurbanised and not industrialised, the honey has organoleptic qualities of absolute genuineness.
The exploitation of the Pre- Alpine geographic environment stimulated inventiveness, and the need to preserve apples-and fruit after ripening gave rise to the discovery of the Koinze and the Kodinfön. The method is simple and absolutely natural: the water evaporates and the sugars become concentrated in slices of apples exposed to the sun, therefore the pieces of apples can be preserved for a long time.If, on the otherhand, the apples are chopped into small pieces and cooked. a puree can be obtained. This puree. spread and left to dry in thin layers, becomes delicate sheet& which are ideal for filling cakes, tarts or, covered with honey, for enhancing the performance of sportspersons.
An important part of fruit and vegetable growing in the Feltre area and a significant element of the local countryside and scenery, the Feltre Walnut has given rise, in the last centuries, to a regular local, regional and even international trade thanks to its characteristics of softness and goodness. Feltre Walnut growing has now been relaunched by a special protection Consortium. The chestnut, on the other hand, humbly entered local cuisine in the form of boiled and roasted chestnuts; however, with the end of famine times, it succeeded in gaining respectability in the local gastronomy, not only in the preparation of cakes, but also as an ingredient of first and second courses.
The Feltre Chestnut is renowned for its white pulp, sweetness and compactness, wich withstands cooking, and for at least two centuries the chestnut-tree has been a characteristic element in the piedmont strip of the Feltre area.
Schiz traditionally represented a way of consuming fresh cheese, utilizing the scraps left after pressing in the moulds. Today it is a fresh, soft cheese made with full-cream cow's milk, specifically from the Belluno area, to be consumed cut into slices with polenta and mushrooms. Piave, on the other hand, is a typical cheese from the Belluno area, obtained by an industrial process since 1960: it is a cooked, ha anti ripeni!tf cheese, suitable as a table cheese and also for grating.
A fundamental resource in the Modern Age, beans rapidly ousted the old broad beans in the culinary tradition of the Feltre area, for preparing soups, vegetable soups with rice, salads, sauces or simply as a side dish. Widespread throughout the central and lower areas of the province of Belluno, they have also found their natural habitat in the Lamon and Sovramonte tableland; so much so that there are even four traditional varieties with the name Lamon Bean. lf the latter is betterknown, there are also other excellent varieties, inclulling the Dahit, or Peers an, round, yellow and small with characteristics of lightness that made it sough-after by the ruling classes and traditionally intended for the Vatican Curia.
The pom prussian, which is very widespread in the Sovramonte area, is an appreciated apple variety imported from Prussia by emigrant miners at the end of. the nineteenth century. lt is a !arge fruit with a wide a flattened shape and very short stalk. The peel is bright red, with yellow and green faces and streak:;, lt:; intense and unmistakable fragrance is accompanied by a firm, crisp and not very juicy pulp. There are three varieties having similar characteristics, but which differ mainly for the colour and ripening times.
The I.G.P. Polomite Vineyards are currently cultivated on the cones facing south in the northern piedmont strip of the Feltre area; these are dry and hard to work screes, therefore cultivation activities are still traditional and manual. Also wine-making is carried according to the tradition, with soft pressing and fermentation completed after lengthy soaking with the marc. The wine reaches ideal ageing twelve months after vinification. Several vine species, such as Bianchetta and Nera Genfle called Pavana, boast an illustrious tradition.
Becoming established later than its relatives, maize and beans coming from America, the potato has acquired an important place in the culinary tradition of the Feltre area. lts use is as varied as it is simple: from the traditional gnocchi (dumplings), to r.ice and potatoes, and the various soups and vegetables soups with rice, or served with roast meats and stews, or eise boiled, with tomato sauce. Among the older varieties is the Corneta potato. Thus called because of its horn shape, it is small, elongated and curved and with unbeatable characteristics among potatoes: yellow with a fine granulation, firm and soft at the same time· elements that are preserved even after the cooking phase. The cultivation of the Corneta and other varieties is particularly developed in the municipality of Cesiomaggiore, where the Potato Festival is held in August every year.
Of the rnost common traditional varieties from the Belluno area with free ollinatio , and non-hybrid, such as the Fiorentin, Ungherese and Sponci, the atter has been recently rediscovered and valorised as a product worthy of consideration Sponcio maize is a rostrate, with a long bright orange ear and pointed seeds instead of round, hence the name. The flour, produced by traditional stone grinding, is used for the traditional Belluno and Feltre polenta, which is yellow, firm and fragrant. lt is served with salami anU cheese, especially the typical Schiz, but also with rabbit, chicken and game in general.
The wine making sector in Veneto boasts an important production in the hilly area that separates the flatlands of the Treviso plain from the Alpine range: from Asolo to Conegliano, along the Prosecco wine Road Prosecco di Conegliano - Valdobbiadene D.O.C. is produced. Renowned is the Prosecco Extra Dry, an aperitif par excellence but also ideal with not too spicy dishes, and Prosecco Brut, which is best with fish and vegetables.
A soft cheese, Taleggio can be eaten with roasted polenta, but is est in the cheese tray, with a good young salad. Known for over a thousand years as a mountain cheese, today it is considered a cheese of the plain: in Veneto it is produced in the Monte Grappa foothills and in Casale sul Sile.
A typical product of the Asiago tableland from where it takes its name, it is available in four varieties: d'allevo, pressato, mezzano, vecchio (ripe) or stravecchio (aged). These are all table cheeses with various flavours, colour shades and compactness. Asiago cheese owes its characteristics to the quality of the tableland pasturelands, rich in fragrant grasses that give the milk a characteristic flavour.
Soppressa is a classic, typical regional product, present in neary all areas of Veneto, and comes in a wide variety of sizes, according to the size of the cow guts used. Renowned is the Sopressa Vicentina Dop, prepared with the best cuts of pigs born and bred in the province, such as the leg, neck, shoulder, belly, loin, etc. After curing, it is best served alone, together with bread, or with uncooked or fried cheeses, and also with a good polenta.
Representing the appendix of a busy vine growing and wine producing activity, the art of distilling grappa has very old roots, already protected in the sixteenth century by a special Association. Obtained from grape marc, Veneto Grappa, white, straw-colour or amber if aged, has an alcoholic content usually between 37.5° and 50°. Grappa is used in particular in the preparation of traditional rural dishes: in cooking pork or game, in pancake mixtu es, in the pastry for Crostoli and in that for the very traditional Zaleto
For centuries, a passion for the table has characterised the Veneto culture in all its social elements - with a distinction between good and less rened cuisine - and also regarding the holiday or everyday aspect: the gala and feast dishes and those of "fasting", i.e. the days of abstinence. Vegetables have always been the faithful companions of such dishes: from head cabbage, ideal for the Venetian Patate e capussi (potatoes and cabbage) dish, to asparagus, used very imaginatively in the kitchen. The Venetian hinterland and the eastern Veneto plain, with their loose and sandy alluvial soils, have been the cradle of a wild range of good vegetables for centuries.
An indigenous vine species, Marzemino Gentile nds its best expressions in the Municipality of Volano, due to the particular geological and weather conditions. With its bright ruby-red colour and delicate bouquet, Trento o.o.c. Marzemino goes weil with several dishes of the local culinary tradition, such as dressed pork products, snails, mixed grills Trent sausages and park, as weil as rst courses with meat sauces and seconds with white meats or poultry.
The Verona side of Lake Garda has been called the Olive Riviera, to emphasize the important role olive growing has had there since Roman times. Thus a typical product of the Mediterranean area has become widespread in this corner of the mountains with the production of Garda D.O.P. Extra Virgin Olive Oil . Combined with an element of the mo ntain tradition it has given rise to Polenta consa a polenta seasoned with olive oil.
Facing he Adige on the Verona plain, between river deposits in the valley, cones on the mountain slopes and morainic undula ions, the grapevine has found an ecosystem able to produce excellent wines: Valdadige Bianco, a wine for enjoying during the entire meal, recommended for light hors d'oeuvres, noodle soups and boiled fish, and Valdadi e Rossa, also an all-meal wine, excellent with dressed pork hors d'oeuvres, pasta dishes and white meats.
From the cattle-rearing tradition of the Germanic peoples who settled in the mountains north of Verona in the Dark Ages comes Monte Veronese D.O.P. Cheese, available on the market in two types: d'allevo, a classic table cheese with a "sharp" taste, but also for grating if very ripe, and full-cream milk, with a pleasant taste, to be consumed preferably fresh. Diced with other cheeses, salamelle and together with Garda Extra Virgin Olive Oil it gives rise to Polenta Carbonara.
The Verona hills of Valpolicella have given treir name to three renowned wines: Valpolicella Doc, a table wine with a distinct character obtained from a mixture of grapes, perfect with dishes such as pies and roasts, Recioto, a ruby-red raisin wine, and the very well-known Amarone. Tasting is recommendecl at the Fumane wine bar, on the Valpolicella Wine Road.
Mandor.lato di Cologna Veneta (almonci cake) is one of typical cakes of the Veronaarea, made mainly with processed almonds, even if an an industrial level, according to traditional artisan methods. It is enjoyed especially in the evenings in winter, served with coffee or a classic grappa.
Verona Pandoro is the most classic of Christmas cakes with its traditronal truncated cone shape with octagonal star section and soft and smooth outer surface. lt is produced with ingredients that have remained unchanged since its origins, probably dating from the Renaissance, when it was the custom to crown the middle of the table with a ake covered in a golden layer, called the "Pan de Oro".
The mogern rice-mills of the Lower Verona district- the heirs of the old "rice piles" -found their favourable habitat thanks to the presence of pure and fresh spring waters. Since 1945 Vialone Nano Veronese has become the most widespread variety, recommended for soups, risottos typical of the area such as 'Risotto all'isolana', salads an cakes.
Obtained from the milk of Italian Frisona and Alpine Brown cows, rana Padano D.O.P. is a hard and granulous cheese, with a ull and mild taste. lt can be consumed in a wide variety of ways: when grated it adds a delicate taste to foods, whereas in flakes or thin pieces it is excellent in aperitifs together with white wines, or at the end of,rneals, together with red wines.
Appreciated since Renaissance times, the Mantuan melon stands out for its particular organoleptic properties, acquired thanks to the mainly clayey soils and enhanced by modern cultivation methods, such as growing in tunnels or greenhouses and hose irrigation. There are four main varieties, distinguished by the shape and appearance of the peel and for ripening times: the Harper, round with reticulate peel and rather soft, the Supermarket, oval with classic ribbing, the late Tamaris and the scalar Calypso. The most widely used recipe is Harn with melon.
The first evidence of its cultivation dates back to the middle of the 16th century, after the great land improvement works carried out by the Gonzaga and Benedettini families. The monks of the monastery of Polirone (San Benedetto Po) began to cultivate the fruit in their own orchards, which were also equipped with fruit storage facilities where the fruit could be preserved. To confirm the importance of its cultivation, the pear also appears in the ornaments of the throne room of the Ducal Palace of Sabbioneta and in the garlands of the conjugal bedroom of Andrea Mantegna in Mantua. At the beginning of the 20th century, the cultivation of pears for domestic use was replaced by large-scale production according to the rules of modern fruit growing. The Mantuan pear has diuretic, purifying and intestinal regulating functions. Most of the sugar is made up of fructose, which is why its consumption is also permitted to diabetics. The Mantuan pear includes the following varieties: William, with a smooth skin of yellow-rose colour, juicy and aromatic; Conference, with a rustlike skin of green-yellowish colour, firm, juicy and with a delicate aroma; Decana del Comizio, with a smooth light green or pinkish colour, sweet and juicy; Abate Fetel, with a rustlike skin around the stalk, of green-yellowish colour, crunchy and juicy; Kaiser, with a rough skin and fine, crunchy flesh.
Rice is linked to the history of Ostiglia; the coat of arms of the municipality depicts swamp grass, ears of grain and rice. The first evidence dates back to the time of Federico II Gonzaga, the first Duke of Mantua (1500-1540), who contributed to the spread of this culture by allowing some producers to use the water of the rivers free of charge. Under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Ostiglia became the depot from which all the countries that made up the Empire were supplied: The precious "grains" reached as far as Moscow. The storehouse at the entrance to the town was supplied by boats that reached it through the irrigation canals of the area; at the crossroads of these canals was the customs office, which watched over the product before it was stored. Until the end of the 19th century, rice was grown without distinction between varieties. In 1850 the Nostrale type, a brusone (rice browning) susceptible species, was replaced by the Risone Ostiglia, a very fine, high quality and easy to process rice. When it was affected by brusone disease and contaminated with wild crodo rice, it was gradually replaced by the Vialone Nano Mantovano, currently included in the list of traditional agri-food products and representing the most common variety grown in the Mantuan rice culture, of white colour, round and semi-long shape and average thickness. As a light food, rich in valuable proteins, rice promotes muscular activity and is recommended in cases of high blood pressure, heart and kidney diseases and digestive system disorders.
Chisulina or 'schiacciatina' is a typical baked product of the rural tradition of Ostiglia and Mantua. This bread speciality dates back to the Renaissance and was produced in three varieties: the chisoela, the chisoel and the mirtol, which differed from each other in form and ingredients. The Chisoela was the food of the peasants par excellence, who used it as a substitute for bread when working in the fields: it was made of flour, water, salt and a pinch of bicarbonate - all baked under the ashes. The chisoel, on the other hand, was prepared with fat, flour, eggs, milk, water, yeast and sugar recovered from the cooking of the sausage, a composition that made it similar to matzo bread, so that some people attribute its origin to Jewish cooking. The dough produced was baked in the oven on a greased and floured copper sheet. The Mirtol finally counted among its ingredients white and yellow flour, oil, sugar, milk, lemon and bicarbonate. The dough was then placed on a baking tray, baked, moistened with grappa and sprinkled with aniseed and vanilla powder. The Chisulina Ostigliese, which has lost this variety of recipes over the years, is now considered one of the historic breads of the province of Mantova and can boast a highly prestigious European award, having been included in the list of traditional quality products in 2000. The "schiacciatina" presents itself as a small flake of straw-yellow colour, crunchy, salty, dry, flat and durable. It is generally lightly toasted. It is eaten when "hungry in between" and can be accompanied by a slice of salami and enjoyed with white sparkling wine.
'In the Mantuan culinary tradition, pumpkins have enjoyed a privileged destiny compared with other areas where this vegetable, originally from Central America, was debased to the level of an animal feed or at most for some dumpling dish; elevated in the gastronomy of the Gonzaga Court, it has become a basic ingredient of numerous recipes, including the traditional Pumpkin tortellini, a dish served for many functions. The many varieties grown come from three types: the Cucurbita Maxima, the Cucurbita Moscata and the Delica, all round in shape, flat ene!I at the ends. The pumpkin has a pasty and hard pulp, with a characteristic sweetish taste.