Lake Como culinary traditions
Visiting an area means discovering its history, culture and natural beauty, but also enjoying the aromas and flavours that its cuisine has to offer.
With the mountains, hills and plains that surround it, Lake Como offers tasty genuine products. As is typical of Italian culinary tradition, Lake Como offers food as varied as the local area: a real gastronomic treasure trove, from lake fish to cheese, cold cuts and meat-based dishes.
Missoltini (sun-dried shad) Larian-style tench, pike fillets, risotto with perch, maltagliati with lavaret roe and famous traditional Lombard dishes such as casseoula (pork and savoy cabbage) and buseca (tripe) all accompanied by the ubiquitous polenta uncia and tocc, and washed down with some good local red or white wine, are just some of the dishes that you will see on restaurant menus in the Lake Como area.
In the valleys and mountains you can sample peasant cooking, essentially based on yellow taragna vuncia polenta, which accompanies tasty game dishes or rustic cheese. Polenta, game, mushrooms and chestnuts are the main foods in this cuisine with its old traditional tastes.
Full fat cheese is a typical product of mountain dairies. It is still made today in copper pans on wood burning stoves and the cheese is left to mature for at least three months in natural grottos or cellars. The Valsassina excels in cheese-making, thanks to its herds and the grottos that are used in natural maturation. The most famous product is taleggio but there are also stronger or more delicate goats’ cheeses, small fresh cheeses, ricotta, rustic salami and excellent butter.