Lombardy is a land to be discovered, perfectly kept historic villages and food and wine traditions preserved thanks to the expert hands of housewives who have been able to pass on the secrets of the oldest cuisine in this region. Cultures that have intertwined over the centuries to create authentic and genuine flavors, linked to the land and the products it offers generously. Crossing the most beautiful villages of this region we will present you some of the typical dishes most loved by the Lombards and its visitors.
The Brembana Valley and its typical cuisine
If you reach San Pellegrino Terme in the heart of the Brembana Valley, you will immediately recognize the famous brand of the homonymous mineral water, beneficial, according to numerous clinical studies, to the entire digestive system. The Lombard village is divided in two by the Brembo river and takes its name from the first martyr bishop, San Pellegrino whose devotion is deeply felt. In addition to the many excursions that you can do on foot or by bike, the village offers excellent culinary ideas. Between one walk and another we recommend pleasant stops in the dairies in the area where the production of high quality cheeses such as the classic Taleggio D.O.P. is famous. and the Formai de Mut of Alta Val Brembana D.O.P with an unmistakable aftertaste. But also the Stracchino all'Antica delle Valli Orobiche, the Strachitunt D.O.P and the Branzi Cheese, to be enjoyed on a cutting board as a delicious appetizer together with the excellent cured meats found in the area. Furthermore, some of these cheeses such as bitto or Formai de Mut are often used for the preparation of the typical dish of Val Brembana, Polenta Taragna. A set of strong flavors and aromas, which tell in an admirable way about this land and the love that its inhabitants reserve for it. The polenta is prepared according to the ancient recipe, which involves slow cooking and strong arms to mix it with a long spoon, rigorously in wood, until completely cooked. A few minutes before turning off, abundant diced cheese is added; a dish of typical cuisine to be enjoyed with red wine made with the best vineyards in the region.
From the Lombard hinterland to the shores of Lake Como: Arnosto and Bellagio
Arriving in the Imagna Valley, well away from the most populated centers, is Arnosto, one of the most suggestive villages in Lombardy, a place that has remained in the shadows for many years, preserving the features of the typical mountain village of the Lombardy region. Like many inland villages, Arnosto also wanted to maintain its deep peasant vocation. The entire village is made of stone, even the so-called pitched roofs because they are made of limestone slabs called piode. Visiting these places means coming into contact with a culinary culture with strong and unique flavors, such as the third typical dish we want to present to you, the famous herb rabbit. The meat is marinated for a whole night with fragrant herbs and spices combined with the best white wine of these valleys, creating a heady-flavored dish. Perhaps not everyone knows that rabbit meat is called "noble" because it is rich in iron and beneficial substances but low in fat. A real wonder for those who love the delicate flavors and the scent of a meat that is cooked on a slow fire for many hours, to make it soft and tasty as in the past. If you decide to visit this area, don't miss a taste of the fresh homemade pasta. Kneaded with non-industrial flours produced in local farms and pulled in a traditional way as required by tradition, it is then seasoned with sauce made with pork. Also this special ragù, according to the recipe, requires local meat and a slow cooking with onion, garlic, red wine and spices that enhance the aroma of the meat.
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If, on the other hand, you cannot do without a little social life, we suggest the village of Bellagio. A place that needs no introduction given the beauty of the place which is recognized all over the world. The waters of Lake Como that are reflected in the fabulous ancient villas and many tourists who flock to its streets making it one of the most glamorous tourist destinations in Italy. In the pearl of Lake Como you cannot miss the traditional traditional dish, the tóch, a dish that, in fact, is "touched" with your hands. It is a special polenta cooked with local cheese and butter, usually consumed on important occasions such as holidays. As in all of Lombardy, even the Como Tóch is very good, but having to be consumed with your hands it is more solid than usual, to allow you to be comfortably eaten, a real delight for the most greedy palates.Photo by Shutterstock