Lake Como Food & Wine
The restaurants in the many great hotels and in the popular resort areas will have excellent recognizable Lombard cuisine with great meats, game, pastas and risottos. At the smaller family run places, the local bounty of the lake is evident.
Perch, small whitefish, shad and river trout are very popular, as Lake Como is bountiful with fish. Pastas stuffed with fish are common in local restaurants. A favorite main dish is fresh perch, a clean-tasting fish that has been filleted and then rolled in flour and breadcrumbs, and then pan-fried in butter and often seasoned with lemon and sage. This is often served on a bed of risotto, the risotto con filetti di persico. Other popular fish dishes include lavarelli alla salvia, which is prized whitefish cooked with sage, frittura di alborelle, a small whitefish that is fried and eaten whole, and the distinctive missultin, sun-dried agoni (shad) that is char-grilled over coals and served on a bed of polenta. This ancient preservation and presentation technique is more popular further up the lake from Como. Another unique preparation for preserving fish is marinate in carpione. There is more than fish to be found as secondos on the lakeside menus, as game and beef are found nearby, and many of the restaurants aptly serve their well-heeled visitors.
There is some olive oil made along the lake. Cheese is made in the upper part of the Brianza, the area between the legs of the lake, and towns on the lake, such as the thick-crusted unripened and sharp-tasting semuda.