Verona Food & Wine
Polenta reigns in the mountains and is eaten as an accompaniment to all kinds of food, such as mushrooms and eggs. On feast days, polenta, together with the products derived from the butchering of the pigs, is very popular. The yellow kind of polenta is one of the principal foods. An alternative to polenta are potatoes of various different qualities, white, yellow, and red, boiled and used during festivities for potato gnocchi (little potato dumplings). Usually dressed with melted butter and grated cheese, they are enriched during feast days with meat sauce made from roast veal.
Another rich quality that distinguishes the town's cuisine is the generous use of various meats, beef, veal, pork, and game. Duck and guinea fowl can be found throughout the Veneto region, and in particularly in Verona, accompanied by "peverada" sauce, prepared with stock, spices, breadcrumbs, butter, charcuterie, lots of pepper, and ox marrow.
Roast veal such as stinco al forno (roast shin bone), is cooked very slowly so that it becomes very tender. Accompanied by polenta, roast potatoes or mashed potatoes, stinco al forno is another tasty dish of the area.
Bigoli, a type of homemade spaghetti, is sometimes made with wheat flour. Bigoli is usually dressed with a sauce made from pieces of meats flavored with onion, and sometimes with cooking juices from a roast, and sprinkled with grated cheese.
Rice-based dishes are also among the first course dishes. The quality of the locally produced rice, vialone nano veronese, is an exceptional rice for risottos and is protected by the DOP (Denomination of Protected Origin) guarantee. Every year during a festival, all restaurants in the area compete over the classic risotto recipe Isola della Scala. Risi e bisi (rice and peas) and risi e figdini (rice and chicken livers) are among the forty different dishes created from the high quality vialone nano rice.
A cheese worth remembering is the monte veronese cheese, which has many similarities with Asiago cheese.
Among the sweets and cakes, most common are the offella and the pandoro (golden bread). The offella is a sumptuous cake, rich with butter and lightly covered with a crunchy sugar-icing. Once prominent during the Christmas holiday, offella is now made year round.
Verona is Italy's first province for DOC wines. The leading white wine is Soave and red is Bardolino and Valpolicella, whose opulent Amarone version ages splendidly. Other vineyards propagate in Merlot and Cabernet, and white Pinots and Chardonnay.