Top 5 local foods to eat at Lake ComoAlessandro Barba
All world knows the obsessions we Italians have for good food, especially to their own traditional one. Also those who never visited Italy are aware of it thanks to many italian restaurants that have spread around the world several dishes of the “Bel Paese”.However when you are visiting Italy, what cannot elude your attention is that in each different region (we have 21) you will find some typical food, often very different from each others because deeply connected to the peculiar history and cultural legacy of each region. These unique culinary “treasures” are almost impossible to find around the world and you can truly experience them only where they were invented and preserved until now.
Here, especially for Villa Dolce Vita guests, we have chosen 5 typical meals that we recommend to try while you are visiting the region of Lake Como, especially when you’re sitting in the commons Trattorie or Grotti (Caverns in english) around the lakeside.
The most typical plate of the Lario (the ancient latin name of Lake Como) is the “Risotto con filetti di pesce persico”, a special typeof rice that gets creamy with cooking and mixed with fillets of Persic fish from our Lake, normally should be served with fruity white wine (Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay).
The second most famous dish, so popular that even became a brand for local apparels, are “Missultin” (in italian Agoni) that are fished in the lake from may to june, dehydrated with salt and exposed under the sun for few days. After following this process they are stashed inside a wood box called “Missolta” (here the name Missultin) with laurel leafs and they can be conserved for a long time. They are normally served with a slice of polenta (a common dish in North of Italy, made with mais flour).
Another must-eat dish is a type of polenta that is very common in the valleys around Lake Como, called “Polenta Uncia” which is a polenta cooked with tasty local cheeses (tons of), butter (check your colhesterol afterwards), garlic (forget kissing afterwards) and sage (the only vegan ingredient in it). Polenta Uncia cannot disappoint but you will need to run all along the lake to burn out a portion.
Since “Dolce Vita” means “Sweet Life” we have to mention the typical “Dolce” to eat during Easter time which is “Resca”, a sweet bread prepared with candied fruit and with inside a twig of olive tree as symbol of peace and luck for the future. You can also ask to have it during the rest of the year, however it will be evident that you are not a local.
Last but not least, next meal we would like to introduce you are Pizzoccheri Valtellinesi, originally coming from the Valtellina Valley, which begins at around 20 minutes driving from Villa “La Dolce Vita” and goes up until Bormio and Livigno, two of the major ski resorts in Lombardy. Pizzoccheri is a type of pasta, similar to “tagliatelle”, made with buckwheat flour and boiled together with chopped potatoes, savoy cabbage and spiced with molten cheese (normally the Valtellina Casera cheese) and butter.
In the past these meals were eaten by local farmers and shepherds, living the mountains that are surrounding Lake Como. For this reason they are high caloric, furthermore they were prepared with ingredients easy to find around the local markets of the lake. Nowadays, we inherited them and they became proud members within the historical heritage of italian cuisine.