The colours of autumn invite you to visit the villages of our peninsula, appreciating their beauty and tasting their flavours. In this article we will guide the reader in an itinerary of taste, which will cross Italy from Trentino to Calabria to discover the typical dishes of the mountain villages. Let's set off!
Photo by Ivan Previsdomini
San Candido, one step from heaven
Surrounded by majestic peaks and famous for the nearby emerald green Lake Braies, San Candido offers unforgettable gastronomic experiences, thanks to a mix of Italian and German tradition.
Among the first courses are Canederli or Knodel, dumplings made with stale bread and speck (as big as a meatball!) which can be enjoyed with lots of fillings. We recommend the variant with chives and speck!
As a second course, you can order the Grostl, a concentrate of energy based on potatoes, onions and meat to be enjoyed hot. If there is room left, you cannot miss a slice of Strudel, a typical local pastry cake rolled up and stuffed with apples, sultanas, pine nuts and cinnamon.
Photo by Wikipedia
Tirano and the red Bernina train
If the destination of the trip is Tirano, a village in the province of Sondrio and station of the Bernina Red Train, the palate will not be disappointed. We start with a plate of Pizzoccheri, wheat and buckwheat noodles seasoned with potatoes, cabbage, cheese, butter and sage.
Excellent is also the Sciatt, a typical dish in which very hot pancakes filled with melted cheese are placed on a bed of chicory: a poor but very tasty dish.
For gourmets, here is the typical dessert of Tirano, called Bisciola or Pan de Fich: it looks like a round loaf of bread mixed with honey, eggs, butter and dried fruit.
A delicious caloric bomb, born as a Christmas cake but now available everywhere and in any season in Tirano.
Photo by primochef.it
Gressoney Saint Jean, the balcony on Monte Rosa
Our itinerary continues in Aosta Valley and more precisely in the village of Gressoney Saint Jean, the balcony on Monte Rosa.
Here the protagonist of the local gastronomy is a cheese called Toma di Gressoney. It is processed directly in the mountain pastures of the valley and it is a table cheese made of semi-skimmed cow's milk, which acquires its tasty taste by resting in copper containers, according to the ancient rural tradition. In Gressoney this toma is served on every table, often accompanied by a typical sausage of the valley, the goat's Violin, which takes its name from the musical instrument to which it resembles.
It is obtained by drying the meat of the Alpine goat thighs and then marinating it for a fortnight with herbs and spices, without removing the bone. In this way it takes on the appearance of a miniature raw ham, to be sliced with a knife using movements similar to those of musicians with their own violin. If you love hot dishes in Gressoney you can also enjoy a classic Aosta Valley speciality: choose a portion of steaming fondue, based on melted fontina cheese and golden croutons, which will refresh you before continuing your journey.
Photo by braciamiancora.com
Bardonecchia, the pearl of the Alps
After Trentino, Lombardy and Valle D'Aosta our taste itinerary continues in Bardonecchia, pearl of the Alps in the province of Turin. In addition to 100 km of ski slopes and beautiful trails for summer trekking lovers Bardonecchia has a lot to offer to lovers of good food.
Among its typical dishes we find the delicious Raclette, similar to fondue but even richer thanks to the combination of cheese and other ingredients. The local breeders love to taste this semi-hard cheese (which is melted on frying pans specially created preserving a full-bodied consistency) combining it with salami, bacon or speck.
Photo by nonnapaperina.it
Santa Severina, divided between sea and mountains
We conclude the journey of taste in Santa Severina, a village in the Province of Crotone, nestled between the Ionian Sea and the Sila Mountains. Its cliff and the narrow streets of the historical centre make it fairy-tale, as well as its typical cuisine.
The characteristic dish is the Pasta china, delicious rigatoni cooked in the oven with a filling of provola cheese and sausage. Very famous in Santa Severina is also a particular variety of orange, called Aranciaru of which, according to the ancient peasant tradition, nothing is thrown away. With aranciaru you can make juices, delicious salads and flour for desserts.
Photo by blog.giallozafferano.it