In Milan at the Lombardy region of Italy the cuisine varies considerably throughout following the contours of the land: Geographically speaking, Lombardy’s northern half is Alpine – including the Swiss border – while its southern half makes up part of the Po River Basin which runs through the Lombardy capital of Milan. When we then add: home to one-sixth of Italy’s total population, the region of Lombardy is truly a study in contrasts on many levels.
Culinary influences are bound to be just as diverse as Lombardy’s population base owing to the wildly varied terrain, internal distinctions in cooking styles and long history of influence by nearby and/or conquering nations .With such a heritage, cooking traditions are ingrained and recipes unlikely to have been changed for centuries in the important handing down of kitchen legacies.
My wife and I had some time for exploring the local attractions while attending the CEPIS Council Meeting in Milan two weeks ago. The top of the cream was when the host’s AICA President in Milan, Roberto Berlini, invited us to a local restaurant with the regions specialties on the menu. It was returning the favor after we did the same when we had him as a guest in Oslo two years ago and I gladly take you along on this culinary adventure:
A Lombardy gourmet adventure:
When entering the restaurant, Roberto – knowing the owner and staff – told them what we were hoping for: The local specialities and here you are:
Left – starter: Salame Melanese & Right – Torta di mele with gelatto
Main course: Osso Bucco with Risotto Milanese
Trattoria Al Matarel:
Resistance to altering recipes and techniques that have filled the Lombardy tables with good country food for a large span of recorded history can be seen as a sort of “foodie pride” which began its cultivation long before pop culture’s re-embrace of and return to simple cooking, homemade and wholesome.
Our dinner was exactly that kind of experience: It looked, smelled and last but not least tasted Italian – and after talking about Lombardy both with Roberto and the staff, we were certain this cuisine was from the region too! I mean, we’ve tasted both salami and beef before, but never like this – not to mention risotto: the Italian way – in Lombardy – is the best!
This is my last of three posts from our stay in Milan – a cultural, historical as well as culinary adventure. Don’t miss the other two:
-> Blogger tourist in Milan in Lombardian region of Italy
-> Blogger tourist in Italy at Navigli in Milan