Let's move towards the beautiful mountains that form the profile of Trentino Alto-Adige. And enter in the middle of these valleys, among the landscapes of the most fascinating Alps of the arc, to discover the gastronomic tradition of the region.
A rich and tasty mountain cuisine, which over the centuries has also drawn from the nearby border territories. Follow us on this journey through the flavours, the peculiarities, the originality and the delicacy of the typical dishes of Trentino Alto-Adige.
History of Trentino and South Tyrol cuisine
As for everything else, even when we talk about cooking, we have to distinguish Trentino from Alto Adige. The different history of the two regions has determined a different type of cuisine between the areas of Trento and Bolzano.
In particular, the influence of the peoples of Central Europe has been - and still is strong - in South Tyrol. Germans and Austrians in the first place, who have brought ingredients and preparations of their traditional cuisine into the heart of South Tyrolean gastronomy.
On the other hand, Trentino has maintained a substantially poor cuisine, made of polenta, corn, sauerkraut, along with dishes eaten by the well-off people. In particular, meat from mountain animals, served at the banquets of the rich lords and high-ranking personalities. All this has left numerous dishes that have become part of the culinary tradition of Trentino Alto-Adige. And still today you can enjoy in the most traditional restaurants.
Typical products of Trentino Alto-Adige
Our tour through the flavors of Trentino can only begin with the appetizers. Your taste itinerary can start by teasing your palate with South Tyrolean bretzels, classic grain braids of German origin. Just as you can open your meal by tasting excellent ricotta dumplings, served on a bed of leeks, with a traditional schiacciatina of Merano, or, if it is the season, with a hot appetizer of mushrooms and fried bread. Or you can try a sort of local street food, which is eaten as an appetizer, the fried animelle, bovine or sheep entrails.
First courses from Trentino Alto-Adige
Try all the Trentino specialities at the Agriturismo Solasna
Once in this region you you'll have to face the canederli. Both because of their goodness, both because of the fact that, wherever you go, they will be present in the menu. This is the traditional first course, bread balls flavoured with speck, pancetta or other cold cuts, prepared with milk, eggs and cheese, served in broth or with butter. A real delicacy.
Alternatively, you can throw yourself on the most classic gnocchi from Trentino. Or, by calling them by their real name, the strangolapreti. These gnocchi are mixed with spinach and served with plenty of parmesan cheese or melted onion-flavoured butter. In the end, we have to spend a quote for the typical barley soup, a first course consumed in Alto-Adige.
It is actually very substantial, perfect for warming up in the cold of the Alpine valleys. It consists of pearly barley, vegetables and smoked pork meat. More than a first course, we'd say a whole meal!
Second courses from Trentino
We said it before, the culinary tradition of Trentino also takes a lot from abroad. And among the main courses, here comes the Tyrolean goulash. The typical Hungarian preparation has been taken up by the South Tyroleans, who seve it with a generous dose of polenta. A perfect accompaniment to this juicy stew of beef, paprika and cumin.
Don't miss the juniper deer, as well as the lamb loin in a potato crust. Then you'll have to give the "smacafam" a chance too, so that you won't miss anything. This is a savoury cake very popular in Trentino, whose dough is half white flour, half Saracen, while the sausage (Lucanica) and smoked bacon are used to flavour it.
In the end, let's move on to the sweet notes. In fact, if you want to do an authentic tour of Trentino Alto-Adige, you must include desserts. It is in this department that you will find real regional specialties. So, just leave a small space in your stomach at the end of the meal. Otherwise, you might miss the strudel, the superstar of South Tyrolean desserts, filled with cooked apples, raisins and various flavours.
Or the renowned (for connoisseurs) kaiserschmarren, the 'Emperor's sweet omelettes'. That is, raisin pancakes, similar to crepes, seasoned with blueberry jam. Or the strauben, the Tyrolean pancakes, spirally shaped and flavoured with grappa.
And, eventually, the zelten, a typical Christmas cake, prepared both in Trentino and in Alto-Adige, with small differences between one and the other. It is a cake with a bit of everything: raisins, walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, dried figs and hazelnuts. A real dried fruit bomb.
Desserts and delicacies at the Agriturismo Galeno
Curiosities of Trentino Alto Adige
An ancient land of peasant traditions, there are many opportunities to experience folklore in these mountain lands. One of these, linked to the gastronomic culture, has the complicated name of "Kastelruther Hoazetkuchl", the 'marriage of Castelrotto'.
In other words, the most famous gastronomic event in the area of Alpe di Siusi. We are, as the name suggests, in Castelrotto. On this occasion, you can taste only dishes of ancient origin, those who the great-grandparents used to eat, in a continuous rediscovery of the flavors of the past.
You can try, among other things, the 'rosticciata alla contadina' (Bauerngröstl), the 'pan of marriage' (Hochzeitspfandl), and the 'formaggio grigio' (Graukäse). Between the valleys and peaks of Trentino Alto-Adige, there is also room for the culture and flavours of this people.
Discover all this and taste the essence of the agritourism with restaurant in Trentino Alto-Adige.