As consumers continue to clamor for authentic, regional foods from Italy, it pays to be in the know about lesser-known regional cuisines! Today, we travel to Northern Italy and to Trentino Alto Adige.
Located in Northern Italy, in the Dolomite Alps, Trentino’s cuisine is a mix of central European and ancient Tyrolean cultural influences, with as many similarities to Austrian cuisine as Italian.
A region with both a landscape and a heritage that has few equals across ithe country and as such is subject to extensive preservation, the dairy richness of the mountains and the valley is extraordinary, but the typical products of Trentino also extend to various meats, meat products, and even fruit and vegetables. Think forest mushrooms, cow’s milk cheeses, cured and smoked meats, and you’re on the right track.
The region’s harsh winters and rugged terrain meant nothing was wasted – so traditionally pasta was made from all kinds of ingredients, from chestnuts to whole wheat. For the same reason, fermented and cured ingredients were widespread — like the region’s signature smoked ham product, speck –and still are today.
This dish highlights the cow’s milk in the cream and cheese that is typical of the region. The mushrooms are also a local favorite, and provide an ideal pairing with the whole grain pasta, with earthy, nutty, umami flavor notes to complement the natural flavor contributions of the pasta.