A visit to Milan can be interesting for tourists not only in terms of history, culture and national characteristics. A trip to the capital of Lombardy always turns into an exciting gastronomic tour, because the northern part of Italy is famous for its rich culinary traditions. In local restaurants you can taste incredibly delicious dishes, the recipes of which have become truly world famous.
Culinary traditions of Lombardy
The sophistication and diversity of national cuisine is determined, first of all, by favorable climatic features and natural resources of the region. Agriculture, livestock and fisheries have always been the priority occupations of the hardworking inhabitants of this fertile land, providing themselves with the highest quality products.
The gastronomic features of local cuisine include:
- Satiety and calorie content;
- A variety of soups and stews;
- An abundance of cheeses and sausages;
- The popularity of meat and dairy products;
- Use of rice, as well as corn and wheat flour;
- Mandatory addition of spicy spices;
- Priority butter over olive;
- Delicious pastries and desserts.
Many restaurants have preserved the unique interiors of past centuries and offer visitors to enjoy traditional national dishes by the Milanese chefs.
Milanese saffron risotto
Rice dominates the cuisine of northern Italy. Beautiful, nutritious and delicious Milanese saffron risotto (risotto milanese allo zafferano) began to be cooked at the end of the 16th century, and since then it has gained great popularity among the inhabitants of Lombardy.
The story of the appearance of the dish was overgrown with funny legends. According to one version, its author was an inventive glazier who practiced adding yellow spice to stained glass paints, and decided to experiment with food in the same way, according to another - the recipe was invented by an alchemist and artist.
The cooking method is very simple: raw rice is fried in a pan using butter and olive oil, white wine is added, and then, covered with meat broth, covered with a lid. Croup is brought to the state of "al dente". A few minutes before cooking, rice is seasoned with butter, grated Parmesan and saffron, thanks to which the dish acquires a characteristic rich golden color.
Risotto is one of the favorite side dishes in local cuisine, often served with ossobuco. I tried the risotto in Trattoria della Pesa for dinner, liked it.
- The price of risotto in restaurants in Milan from 10 to 15 euros per serving.
Translated from Italian, the name of the dish, ossobuco (Ossobuco), means "hollow bone", which is no accident, because the main ingredient is a calf drumstick on the thick cerebral bone, chopped into large pieces.
Together with vegetables (carrots, onions, tomatoes, celery stalks) and wine, the meat is stewed for three long hours. Before stewing, veal is rolled in flour and fried in a pan. Shortly before serving, for spices, add garlic, ground black pepper, lemon zest and finely chopped parsley. Veal prepared in this way is distinguished by excellent taste, softness and melts in the mouth. Bone marrow is eaten with a special scapula. The ossobuco garnish is traditionally served with risotto, cornmeal porridge or vegetables.
Traditional ossobuco can be sampled at many Milanese restaurants. I advise you to look at the following:
- Taverna Guyot at Via Arnaldo da Brescia, 3 - 10 minutes walk from Milano Porta Garibaldi Station. The cost of Risotto alla Milanese con Ossobuco is 24 euros. Opening hours daily from 19:00 to 00:00, except Sunday. Restaurant website www.tavernaguyot.com
- Osteria Conchetta is located in the Navigli area of Via Conchetta, 8. Ossobuco alla milanese con pure costs 18 euros. Hours daily 12: 00-14: 30, 19: 30-23: 30. Osteria website www.osteriaconchetta.it
- Osteria dell'Acquabella at Via S. Rocco, 11. The cost of a dish with risotto (con Risotto) is 22 euros, with polenta (con Polenta) is 15.5 euros. Opening hours 12: 00-14: 30 19: 30-23: 00, closed Sunday. Restaurant website www.acquabella.it
The basis could be chicken or beef broths, and sometimes just water. No wonder the name of the dish is literally translated from Italian as "what is served" (on the table). It is noteworthy that there is no strict recipe, the list of ingredients used depends on seasonality. So, for example, at different times of the year, soup is cooked from beans, cabbage, zucchini, carrots, onions, tomatoes, celery. Vegetables must be fresh. For a thicker consistency and satiety, add rice or noodles, and at the final stage of cooking - grated parmesan or other hard cheese.
The term "minestrone" itself was used by culinary specialists to describe a liquid dish of vegetables only in the 18th-19th centuries.
Where to try minestrone soup in Milan?
An excellent bean-based minestrone (Zuppe di fave) for € 7.5 is served at Trattoria Mirta at 12. Piazza S. Materno. The nearest metro station is Pasteur, 6 - 8 minutes and 6 stops from Duomo, then you will need to walk 850 meters on foot. The institution works only on weekdays for lunch 12: 15-14: 15 and for dinner 19: 30-22: 15.
Its name - casseroles or casuela (cassoeula), a hearty meal of stewed pork and Savoy cabbage, is obliged to the dishes in which it is traditionally prepared - a deep refractory pot.
The appearance of this dish in the cuisine of Lombardy is associated with the day of veneration of St. Anthony. It is on this holiday, January 17th, that the pig slaughter season traditionally ends, and the cabbage, after the first frost, acquires a special softness.
The emergence of dishes on the tables of the inhabitants of northern Italy is accompanied by a romantic story. According to the legend, during the time of Spanish rule, a young girl who served as a cook in the house of a wealthy Milanese family began an affair with the soldier of the royal army, Philip II. The cavalier opened a sweetheart recipe for this simple dish, and she, in turn, prepared it for her masters. Cassela liked the Milanese and quickly acquired the status of one of the most popular dishes. For example, the great Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini (Arturo Toscanini) called this dish his favorite dish.
In the process of cooking, fried pork sausages, ribs, skin, legs, ears and tails are used. In addition to cabbage stew carrots, celery and onions. Traditionally served cassette with cornmeal porridge.
The famous Milanese pies stuffed with panzerotti (panzerotti) are famous for their unusual taste and appetite.
Their homeland is the southeastern region of the country, Apulia (Puglia). It was from here after the Second World War, in search of a better life, Giuseppina Luini moved to Milan and opened a modest bakery in the historical center of the city. The first small batch of panzerotti dispersed at lightning speed.
The owner of the institution "Da Luini" ("At Luini") was inspired by success. The bakery was redeveloped into a panzeroteria, where only one crown dish was prepared. This Milan fast food has been incredibly popular with locals and tourists for decades. Today, panzerotti are on the menu of almost all the restaurants and cafes of the city. The legendary "Da Luini" is located at via Santa Radegonda, 16, a short walk from the Piazza del Duomo.
Prepare a dish of thin, soft, yeast dough. The imposing pies (15-20 cm long) are fried in olive oil. Different ingredients are added to the base filling - cheese (mozzarella, ricotta, pecorino, parmesan): tomatoes, herbs, spinach, corn, ham, olives, pickled cucumbers, mushrooms and more (Milanese culinary experts improvise without borders). There are options for sweet panzerotti with nuts, figs or wild berries, which are traditionally served with coffee.
Despite the name of the dish, the Milanese cutlet (cotoletta / costolette alla milanese), it has nothing to do with the minced meat cutlet. Outwardly, the dish looks like a chop, and rather resembles a Vienna schnitzel. A similar dish is prepared in Austria.
The main difference of the Italian gastronomic delicacy is the presence of a stone, which, in the process of eating meatballs, the locals traditionally hold with their hands.
The secret of juiciness and unsurpassed taste is very simple: the best calf tenderloin is used to prepare the Milanese chop. Meat is rolled in an egg and breadcrumbs (sometimes several times), and fried in melted butter. Served with a light green salad or risotto.
The Milanese cutlet has been present on the menu of the inhabitants of Lombardy for centuries. The first mention of this dish is found in documents dating back to the XII century.
Italian porridge made from cornmeal or finely ground cereals is called polenta. This is a very versatile and multi-functional food. It is served on the table both as everyday food and as an exquisite festive meal.
Polenta can be a side dish or an independent dish with a variety of additives. Corn appeared in northern Italy, as in other regions of Europe, in the 16th century, after the discovery of America. Initially, it served as nutritious food for simple peasants and wandering monks. Groats were poured with boiling water in large copper boilers and brought to a thick consistency. Over time, cooking recipes improved: not only cooked porridge, it was fried, baked, meat, fish, mushrooms, cheese and vegetables were added to polenta. There are also sweet food options with wild berries and nuts.
Pasta ears of crudayola
The national dish of crudaiola (crudaiola) is eaten mainly in the summer, when fragrant tomatoes ripen. The name of a simple and at the same time very tasty meal comes from the Italian word "crudo" (raw), because for its preparation you need fresh, ripe tomatoes.
Pasta in the form of round ears, boiled in water with the addition of olive oil. The main secret of a unique taste is the sauce used to season pasta. It is made from finely chopped tomatoes, cloves of garlic, basil and grated cacioricotta cheese from a mixture of sheep and goat milk.
Michetta Milanese white bread appeared at the beginning of the 18th century, thanks to the influence of Austro-Hungarian cuisine. Its specific shape, reminiscent of an opened flower bud, is achieved through cuts that are made on raw dough before baking.
A characteristic feature of myketta is the absence of crumb. Bread is baked in a special way: wheat flour is combined with malt, yeast and water, the resulting dough is left to ripen for at least 16 hours, after prolonged fermentation it acquires a characteristic elasticity and firmness.
It is noteworthy that in 2007 Milanese bread received the prestigious De national award. Co. (Denominazione Comunale), which is awarded to the local gastronomic delicacies, distinguished by the highest quality and rich history.
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Light, airy, fragrant panettone Panettone is traditionally prepared for Christmas and New Year, from October to January. Mention of such a festive delicacy dates back to the XI century.
The recipe for the Milanese cake, which became the main attribute of the winter celebrations, was invented later, around the end of the 15th century, and since then has remained almost unchanged.
The story of the dessert is shrouded in many legends. According to one of the most popular legends, the recipe was invented by a humble young man named Tony, who served as an assistant cook at the court of the Duke of Milan, Lodovico il Moro, hence the name of the cake - pan del Toni, which translates from Italian as “Tony bread”.
Cooking panettone is a very time-consuming task, requiring some experience and skill. Knead the dough using a special wheat sourdough, and the fermentation process consists of several stages, and takes from two to three days. Thanks to sophisticated technology, a moist and delicate crumb is obtained; in terms of texture and taste characteristics, baking is completely unlike ordinary yeast buns, and can remain fresh from two weeks to several months.
Externally, the panettone has a domed, cylindrical shape with a height of about 30 centimeters. Cranberries, cherries, raisins, candied oranges and lemon are added to the dough. The delicacy is usually served on the festive table with coffee, hot chocolate or wine.
World famous Negroni sbagliato aperitif (negroni sbagliato) - very popular among Milanese, and traditionally drunk before dinner, to stimulate appetite and cheer up.
The Italian word "sbagliato" translates as "wrong" or "erroneous", and largely explains the story of the creation of the cocktail. The recipe was invented in the 60s of the last century, based on the classic Negroni, included in the list of the best aperitifs ever invented.
There is a romantic legend according to which, bartender Mirko Stoketto, who worked in the Bar Basso institution in Milan, I looked at a beautiful visitor while preparing a cocktail, and instead of a strong gin, I accidentally added champagne. So appeared Negroni sally, which includes:
- dry sparkling wine prosecco (prosecco);
- sweet vermouth;
- Campari bitter liquor based on herbs and fruits.
All ingredients are mixed in equal proportions in a glass with a lot of ice. For beauty, aroma and mild taste add zest and a slice of orange. The drink contains 15% alcohol.