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A taste of Lake Como !

Discover the local dishes, recipes and local products.

The lake and the mountains characterize the area and, in their turn, reflect on the local food
and wine tradition.

Among the local lake specialties we can mention the perch, the lake shad, the whitefish and the bleak, while among the specialties of the Larian land the protagonists are courses based on polenta, fresh
and ripe cheeses, ceps and game.

Among the delicacies that are having success even beyond the Italian borders there are :

  • la polenta with “missoltino“ (agoni dried in the sun and then pressed with salt in wooden
    or tin containers called missolte).
  • Rice with perch fillets
  • Soused lake shads (fried lake fish marinated in water and vinegar flavored with local herbs)
  • Whitefish and trouts in butter and sage
  • Lake shads in green sauce

Our mountains and valleys offer a simple and tasty cuisine, among which local cheeses occupy a predominant position : the alpine cheeses, the dairy, la semuda DOP, il Casera, fresh and seasoned goat cheeses and the typical “Zincarlin “, a tasty ricotta with black pepper.
In a platter of mixed cheeses, honey (possibly chestnut honey) and walnuts can not be missing which, with chestnuts, wine and oil complete the local food and wine tradition.

The typical sweets reflect the poor past of these territories : bread cakes, doughs of flour and water enriched with nuts, raisins and figs or more simply sugary doughs such as the typical “Miascia, the Paradèl, the Mataloch and the Braschin”.

The calender of the events is full of festivals in summertime, while in autumn gastronomic reviews based on game and local cheeses are organized with themed menus linked to the period, conquering tourists with local delicacies.

OIL : The province of Como boasts an ancient olive-growing tradition dating back to Roman times in an area that, thanks to the mitigated microclimate of the lake waters, allows the production of an excellent quality oil. The extra virgin olive oil of the Lario obteined the recognition of the Denomination of Lombard Lakes Protected Origin. (D.O.P. ).

WINE :  Wine growing in the areas around Lake Como has ancient origins.
Nowadays, the largest extensions in the Como province are concentrated in Alto Lario ( North Lake Como ) and in Valtellina area.
The vineyards are terraced and have steep slopes, the fluctuating temperatures are considerable and give the wines elegance, freshness and flavor.
The boost of the quality’s winegrowing  was favored, since 2008, through the acknowledgment IGT “ Terre Lariane “.

FRUITS :  The Larian Chestnut is the characteristic fruit of the woods and ripens from September to November. Considered for centuries the bread of the poor, it was consumed with milk, or boiled or roasted.
From the dried and ground fruit was obtained a flour used to prepare polenta and focacce.
The best known and most valuable type of chestnut is the one called “Marroni” (bigger fruits than chestnuts, covered with a streaked brown skin and with a tasty and consistent pulp).

SMALL FRUIT :  The small fruits owe their name both to their small size and to the lack of importance  
they had in the past from an economic point of view.
However, today, they have been rediscovered, as they can be grown on small plots of land with low economic investments. They may be consumed fresh as well as preserved in jams, jellies and liquors.
Among the small fruits we can mention : The “Giant American Blueberry“, the Blackberry, the Raspberry, the Red Currant, the Black Currant.


Rice and perch fillet

Difficulty  : easy
Preparation time : 30 minutes

Ingredients and portions for 3 people :  6 perch fillets , 150 gams of rice, 1 egg, white flour, breadcrumbs , 1 lemon , oil, butter, salt, grated cheese, sage leaves.
first lace the fillets into the flour, then into the egg and finally into the breadcrubs.
Fry them in a pan with oil and butter until they are golden brown on both sides.
In the meantime, cook the rice in salted water, drain it and place it on a plate, sprinkling it
with cheese. Then decorate the dishby arranging the fillets on the rice like petals of a flower. Separately, fry the sage leaves in abundant butter, pour it onto the dish and serve immediately.

Grilled Missoltino with polenta

Difficulty  : easy
Preparation time : 10 minutes

Ingredients and portions for 6 people:12 missoltini, 2 spoons of finely chopped parsley, 6 spoons of olive oil extra vergine, 6 spoons of vinegar, polenta.
Place the missoltini on a charcoal grill or on a hot lava stone. Grilled the missoltini briefly : avoid letting it burn or dry too much. The flesh should remain red and soft.
Once the fish are ready, remove the scales with a knife, place the fish on a large serving plate, sprinkle with parsley and spray them with vinegar and oil.
Serve this dish with polenta, which gives it the necessary softness, reducing the strong taste of salt and vinegar.  They are also excellent with grilled polenta.