Lake Garda first visit:
Given that I’m a big fan of all things Italian, it seems surprising that it took me so long to visit the Italian Lakes. I’d heard plenty about the beauty of the area but had simply not found the time to visit previously.
There are so many great things about being in Italy that it’s often difficult to know where to start. Having a fondness for food and drink, it’s these two items that often make me want to return to the country.
The use of fresh ingredients in Italian cooking seems to put the UK as well as the USA to shame. The joy of eating fresh tomatoes and wonderful olive oil is without equal.
It’s hard to travel anywhere in Italy without also enjoying the fine wines that are on offer. Drinking wine with a meal is very much part of the culture here.
Lake Garda first visit: What you can expect,
I had previously visited many of the larger Italian cities, I wondered how the region around Lake Garda would compare.
I’d read in my guidebook that the area is largely made up of relatively small villages, towns, and resorts. This would be a trip that would be considerably different from previous visits to the country.
During my stay on the shores of Lake Garda, I opted to move around and visit as many of the lakeside villages as possible. I am happy to find thriving markets and restaurants in many of them.
Fresh produce is as available here as it is in most of Italy, with a wonderful array of fish too.
Before arriving, I’d been concerned that Lake Garda might lack the historic sites that I tend to associate with much of Italy.
Fortunately, I was to find that the lake and its villages have a great combination of scenery, cuisine, and history.
This part of the country has been a popular place to take a break since Roman times.
It’s not hard to see why. I recommend a visit to Lake Garda.
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To find out more about Lake Garda in Italy, check out Keith Barrett’s other travel articles.
Where to stay in Sirmione del Garda
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Lombardia in Cucina: The Flavours of Lombardy
Milan-style risotto, pizzoccheri Valtellinesi, and pumpkin tortelli to start; casoeula, Milan-style cutlets, frogs stewed in tomato to follow, and to send, a slice of sbrisolona cake or panettone.
Lombardy surprises with the richness of its culinary traditions and natural ingredients, which modernity has barely affected.
"Milano in Cucina" captures this kaleidoscope of flavours, with contributions from some of the most celebrated chefs on the culinary scene, who pay homage to their territory, and whose skill is able to present a modern vision in keeping with the region's progressive spirit.
The Italian Academy of Cuisine
La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy
Fifty years ago, a group of Italian scholars gathered to discuss a problem: how to preserve traditional Italian cooking. They formed the Italian Academy of Cuisine to document classic recipes from every region. The academy’s more than seven thousand associates spread out to villages everywhere, interviewing grandmothers and farmers at their stoves, transcribing their recipes—many of which had never been documented before. This is the culmination of that research, an astounding feat—2,000 recipes that represent the patrimony of Italian country cooking. Each recipe is labeled with its region of origin, and it’s not just the ingredients but also the techniques that change with the geography. Sprinkled throughout are historical recipes that provide fascinating views into the folk culture of the past. There are no fancy flourishes here, and no shortcuts; this is true salt-of-the-earth cooking. The book is an excellent everyday source for easily achievable recipes, with such simple dishes as White Bean and Escarole Soup, Polenta with Tomato Sauce, and Chicken with Lemon and Capers. For ease of use there are four different indexes. La Cucina is an essential reference for every cook’s library.
Milano in Cucina: The Flavours of Milan
The famous Risotto Alla Milanese gets its golden hue from the precious spice saffron. Legend has it that the dish came about when a Milanese painter decided to gild the risotto served at his wedding banquet with a harmless gold-colored dye. In Milan, they traditionally serve Risotto Alla Milanese with ossobuco (braised veal shank).
Traditionally made with raisins and candied citron, or with a creamy cream filling, the light, fluffy brioche-like bread called panettone may be tall or short, covered with chocolate or flavored with various liquors, but it’s always a symbol of the Christmas season.
With its hallmark domed shape, panettone graced Christmas tables in Milan since at least the 15th-century. Common knowledge claims its invention is from Milan. It is the most famous Christmas Lombardia food.
The Pax side of the Moon featuring Cesareo
Lombardia (Dicon tutti che sei mia) Quarantine Version - feat. Cesareo (Quarantine Version)