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Eight Foods that Say Welcome to Trentino-Alto Adige

Must Try Foods When Visiting Trentino-Alto Adige

Though each regional cuisine in Italy has its own distinct features, the food of Trentino-Alto Adige is perhaps the most unique of all due to its Germanic influences. Featuring a variety of Italian ingredients juxtaposed with German and Austrian culinary traditions, typical dishes in Trentino-Alto Adige tend to be rich and hearty in order to provide sustenance during the winter months. Continue reading below to discover several key ingredients and dishes that can be found throughout Trentino Alto-Adige.

Trentino_Dolomites_Food_Speck_Cut_coldcuts

One of Trentino-Alto Adige’s most iconic food products, Speck is ubiquitous in the kitchens and dining rooms of this mountainous region. The production process is lengthy and carefully regulated to ensure the final result is of the highest quality. In order to make Speck the traditional way, whole pork thighs are rubbed with a mixture of salt and spices then left to marinate for up to 3 weeks in controlled temperatures. Next, the hams are lightly smoked outdoors in the fresh mountain air and cured for approximately 22 weeks. For the final step, each ham is carefully inspected to ensure all production criteria is met before it makes its way onto your plate.

Trentino_Food_Strudel_Apple_Pastry

One of Trentino-Alto Adige’s most iconic food products, Speck is ubiquitous in the kitchens and dining rooms of this mountainous region. The production process is lengthy and carefully regulated to ensure the final result is of the highest quality. In order to make Speck the traditional way, whole pork thighs are rubbed with a mixture of salt and spices then left to marinate for up to 3 weeks in controlled temperatures. Next, the hams are lightly smoked outdoors in the fresh mountain air and cured for approximately 22 weeks. For the final step, each ham is carefully inspected to ensure all production criteria is met before it makes its way onto your plate.

Trentino_Bolzano_Food_Canederli_Schlutzkrapfen_dish

One of Trentino-Alto Adige’s most popular first courses, these tasty dumplings are formed using a mixture of stale bread, milk, eggs, speck, and spices. Many families in Trentino-Alto Adige have their own secret methods for preparing canederli with the perfect consistency. Once formed, the canederli are traditionally cooked in boiling beef broth to impart an infusion of flavor before being served in the broth. Alternatively, canederli can also be boiled in salted water and served with butter.

A key ingredient of Italian cuisine, polenta is featured in the traditional dishes of several northern Italian regions. Each area has its own ways of making polenta and in Trentino one popular method is called polenta pastizzada. Considered to be an elaborate dish, polenta pastizzada consists of an outer layer of polenta that is filled with three different meat-based sauces and béchamel alternating with additional layers of polenta. This hearty dish is then baked and served by the slice.

Trentino_Dolomites_Food_Gulash_Canederli_Dish_Tyrolean

The classic Central European beef stew with a Südtirol twist. Cooked slowly with high-quality ingredients, this stew is always bursting with flavor. The preparation of the dish begins with sautéed onions followed by cubed pancetta and large squares of beef that are seared on all sides. Then, stock is added in intervals along with spices and allowed to simmer for a few hours—the longer the better! Often served with polenta, Tyrloean goulash is the perfect main course for Trentino-Alto Adige’s winters.

Trentino_Bolzano_Food_Kaiserschmarren_Pastry

Difficult to say, yet easy to prepare, this sweet dessert can be found throughout the countries of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. Translating to “Emperor’s mess”, kaiserschmarren refers to Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I, who was a huge fan of the dessert. In Trentino-Alto Adige, this delicious pancake-like treat is made from a batter consisting of rum-soaked raisins, sugar, eggs, type 00 flour, whole milk, and vanilla. After being cooked in a pan on both sides, kaiserschmarren is cut into wedges, topped with powdered sugar, and served with a side of jam (lingonberry is the traditional flavor, though others can be used as well).

Trentino_Food_Open_Market_Local_Cheese

As a region rich in Alpine pastures, it’s no surprise that Trentino-Alto Adige is home to many delicious cheeses. The foremost cheese in the area is known as Trentigrana, a kind of Grana cheese made in the province of Trento that is aged for 22 months. Featured in many of Trentino’s dishes, Trentigrana can also be enjoyed on its own. Other local favorites include the Puzzone di Moena, known for its distinct smell, as well as Casolet, a sweet cheese, and Vezzena, which is the area’s most historic cheese and is typically produced in the Lavarone and Folgaria plateaus.

Trentino_Bolzano_Food_Spatzle_Tyrolean_Dish

An Italian take on spätzle, traditional German dumplings. These are made in a few different ways throughout Trentino-Alto Adige, but the traditional dish consists of green gnochetti (small gnocchi) made from a dough of spinach, eggs, water, nutmeg, and type 00 flour. When the water is boiling, the dough is placed above the pot in a special grater known as a Spätzlehobel, which slices the gnochetti before they fall into the boiling water. The spatzle is then fried in butter and served with cream and crispy cubes of Speck.

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