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The typical dishes of Trentino Alto-Adige

A journey through the traditional cuisine of Trentino Alto-Adige, one of the most characteristic dishes of the region. A complete meal to get to know the gastronomic culture of this beautiful region.

Let's head towards the beautiful mountains that form the profile of Trentino Alto-Adige. 

Here the valleys offer a rich and tasty mountain cuisine reflecting centuries of history and  cultural influences.

Follow us on a journey through the flavours and peculiarities of Trentino Alto-Adige’s typical dishes and gastronomic tradition.

History of Trentino Alto-Adige cuisine

Cucina trentina

Cucina trentina

Like everything else, when we talk about cooking we have to distinguish Trentino from Alto Adige. The individual history of the two regions has resulted in unique cuisines around the areas of Trento and Bolzano.

In South Tyrol the influence of people from Central Europe has been, and still is, very strong. Germans and Austrians in particular have contributed ingredients and traditional recipes to the heart of South Tyrolean gastronomy.

On the other hand, Trentino has maintained its cucina povera (poor cuisine) based largely on polenta, corn and sauerkraut, as well as dishes historically served to the upper classes. For example, meat from mountain animals was once served at the banquets of rich lords and high-ranking figures. This dichotomy has created a vast array of typical dishes which are part of the culinary tradition of Trentino Alto-Adige.

Gli antipasti - Appetizers

Our tour through the flavors of Trentino begins with the appetizers. Start by teasing your palate with South Tyrolean bretzels, classic braids of bread of German origin. Or, begin with a tasting of delicious ricotta dumplings served on a bed of leeks with a traditional schiacciatina from Merano. If it’s the season, warm up with a hot appetizer of mushrooms and fried bread. You can also try a local street food which is often served as an appetizer, fried animelle (bovine or sheep entrails).

I primi - First courses 

Agriturismo Solasna

Try all the Trentino specialities at the Agriturismo Solasna

In this region don’t pass up the local canederli. Offered on most restaurant menus, they are bread balls flavoured with speck, pancetta or other cold cuts along with milk, eggs and cheese. Canederli are traditionally served in broth or drizzled with butter. A real delicacy!

Alternatively, try the classic gnocchi from Trentino - strangolapreti. These potato-spinach gnocchi are served with plenty of parmesan cheese and melted onion-flavoured butter. Also of note is Tretino’s typical barley soup, a popular first course in Alto-Adige. The hearty dish made with pearl barley, vegetables and smoked pork is perfect for warming up in the cold of the Alpine valleys. More than a first course, it’s a whole meal!

I secondi - Second courses 

As we’ve already mentioned, Trentino’s culinary tradition takes a lot from abroad. Among the main courses, for example, is the Tyrolean goulash. The typical Hungarian preparation has been adopted by South Tyroleans who serve it with a generous dose of polenta. It’s the perfect accompaniment to this hearty stew of beef, paprika and cumin.

Don't miss the juniper deer or lamb loin in a potato crust. And save room for smacafam, a savoury “cake” that’s very popular in Trentino. Made of white and Saracen flour, the dough is flavored with Lucanica sausage and smoked bacon.

I dolci - desserts

To complete your gastronomic tour of Trentino Alto-Adige you must include desserts! Leave some space for the local strudel, the superstar of South Tyrolean sweets, which is filled with cooked apples, raisins, cinnamon and spices. 

Or, order the renowned kaiserschmarren, the 'Emperor's sweet omelettes'. Similar to crepes, they contain raisins and are seasoned with blueberry jam. Alternatively, try the strauben, spiral-shaped Tyrolean pancakes flavoured with grappa.

Finally, during Christmas season don’t miss zelten, a traditional cake prepared both in Trentino and in Alto-Adige. It’s a cake with a bit of everything: raisins, walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, dried figs and hazelnuts. A real treat for anyone who loves dried fruit!

Desserts and delicacies at the Agriturismo Galeno

Curiosities of Trentino Alto Adige

An ancient land with well-preserved peasant traditions, Trentino Alto Adige offers many opportunities to experience the local gastronomic culture

One goes by the complicated name of Kastelruther Hoazetkuchl, or “marriage of Castelrotto”. The most famous gastronomic event in the area of Alpe di Siusi, it takes place, as its name suggests, in Castelrotto. On this occasion, you can taste dishes of ancient origin on an edible discovery of the past. Try the rosticciata alla contadina (Bauerngröstl), pan of marriage (Hochzeitspfandl), and formaggio grigio (Graukäse). 

Discover the local food culture at an authentic farmhouse restaurant in Trentino Alto-Adige.

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