The best recipes and cooking traditions of Valtellina
Valtellina has a long history of good food products, the symbol of a genuine and tasty cuisine.
Thanks to its strategic location, Valtellina offers a diversified agricultural food base: from farm animals to wild game; from grass to woodland products; from wine to cheese.
Not to mention buckwheat flour, rye, potatoes, butter, alpine cheese, cured meat… they must all be tasted and enjoyed!
Pizzoccheri – If you love Valtellina, you are bound to appreciate pizzoccheri, the typical product of the local cuisine, which has been awarded the “Bandiera del Gusto” (Flavour flag) by Coldiretti, Europe’s largest agricultural organization representing millions of Italian farming families. The pizzoccheri recipe has been passed on from generation to generation.
White flour and black buckwheat flour are perfectly mixed to make tagliatelle, which are then cooked with Savoy cabbage and potatoes and generously seasoned with alpine butter and local cheese. The original recipe also requires a sprinkle of pepper.
Bisciola – boasting a rustic and unusual flavour, it is the most popular and traditional Valtellina dessert. To ensure a genuine flavour, it is made only by using organic and local products.
Sciatt – The word sciatt means toad in the local dialect. However, the only resemblance between this local crunchy and tasty buckwheat fritters and the toad is their irregular shape. The fritters are filled with warm melted cheese.
Malfatti – Malfatti is a first course dish typical of the Lombardy region, made with spinach and served with butter and parmesan cheese.
The uniquely flavoured Valtellina cheeses come from the Alpine pastures, where animals graze freely. Products such as Bitto, Casera and Scimudin have all been awarded the PDO mark (Protected Designation of Origin).
Valtellina Casera PDO, a matured half-fat cheese is ideal to season pizzoccheri, to make “sciatt” and as a complement to polenta taragna, which is made with the addition of buckwheat flour.
Scimudin, awarded the “Bandiera del Gusto” in 2014 by Coldiretti, has a delicate and fresh milk flavour, and is a typical “handmade” cheese.
Light, tasty and genuine: Bresaola is bound to appeal to everyone. It is one of the traditional Valtellina products, made by preserving meat with salt and a drying process.
The unique climate of the valley with its fresh and clean air blowing from the Alps is the main reason why the Breasola made in Valtellina is a unique and truly distinctive product guaranteed by the PGI mark (Protected Geographical Indication).
It is a low fat and protein rich product to be tasted on its own, also suitable to create imaginative recipes and delicately flavoured dishes.
Discover the history and the flavour of wines made in Valtellina, a wine producing area since Roman times.
Stop by its producers and ask them to taste their product: Valtellina wines are produced from Nebbiolo grapes and have a strong personality.
One of the wines not to be missed is Sforzato, a dry red made from raisins of Valtellina Superiore, produced with grapes grown in the area between Berbenno di Valtellina and Tirano, divided in five sub-zones: Maroggia, Sassella, Grumello, Inferno and Valgella.
Honey produced in Valtellina has a distinctive flavour and has been awarded the Protected Geographical Indication mark.
Apiculture in Valtellina has been practised for centuries: the thickness of the honey made in the valley is combined with the more rarefied flavour typical of the mountain honey, and mixed with lime blossom honey, which gives it a distinctive balsamic flavour. From wildflower to rhododendron, from chestnut to acacia, all the different bouquets and aromas can be identified and must be tasted all!
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