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January , 2014

Food & Travel | Milan

FOOD-&-TRAVEL-BANNER-FOR-WE

Italy is, of course, widely known for its cousine. However, but some cheeses that go under the radar include tasty and sometimes spicy varieties like taleggio, stracchino, gorgonzola. In general, the most important things to try in Milan include milk, cream, butter, cheese. It may sound strange, but it’s true. A great majority of the classic dishes consist of milk and cream, butter, mascarpone, cheese and ricotta, even the names of the towns, such as Crema and Cremona remind you cheese. However don’t think that everything’s the same and tastes the same; there is a huge variety in the rich cuisine of Milan.

Rice tends to be more popular than pasta and, in fact, rice absorb more cheese butter and broth. Sometimes they even throw vegetables or meat into the mix. However, pasta is quite important here as well with dishes such as “tortelli di zucca”, which is ravioli stuffed with pumpkin, and “pinzoccheri,” which consists of buckwheat noodles cooked with potatoes cabbage and cheese. Don’t forget the soups: “zuppa pavese” (broth with bread and eggs) and “zuppa di porri e bietole” (made with leeks and swiss chard). Another typical meal is “polenta”, topped with mushrooms or meat- a rich dish typically served during the winter.

Finally, what about meat? Here you are “bresaola” dried beef; “carpaccio” thinly sliced raw beef; “arrosto” roast meat such as beef pork or veal and sausages. These meals are served with side dishes such as beans, mushrooms, or salad.

FEW MILAN FOODS & DRINKS

Aperitivo

Aperitivo
Visit at 6pm, Milan’s bars and enoteche start bustling. That’s thanks to aperitivo, a northern Italian tradition commonly mislabeled as “happy hour.” Aperitivo isn’t all about discounted drink specials like happy hour, but about the drink itself (usually priced between €5 and €12) and the food paired with it. Aperitivo menus feature wine, beer, and classic cocktails like a spritz (sparking white wine, a bitter liqueur like Aperol or Campari, and sparkling water) or negroni (gin, vermouth and bitter liqueur). Meanwhile, meats, cheeses, vegetables, breads and other delicacies are served on a small plate along with the drink, or in a more expansive buffet.

Risotto alla milanese

Risotto alla milanese
This world-famous dish is a creamy mix of arborio rice, saffron, grated cheese, butter, white wine and chicken stock. Like most Milanese specialties, the dish’s beauty is found in its simplicity; the high-quality ingredients, like saffron, one of the world’s most expensive spices; and, of course, the love that Milanese cooks add in!

Risotto alla milanese saltato

Risotto alla milanese saltato
Take the above risotto—then add in an egg and fry it in a skillet. It’s the perfect way to reuse risotto leftovers, and a classic Milanese comfort food!

Cotoletta alla milanese

Cotoletta alla milanese
A thick, crispy veal cutlet, still with the bone, fried. And, need we say, delicious.

Orecchio di elefante

Orecchio di elefante
Another variation of cotoletta alla milanese, this dish’s name means “elephant ear.” It’s a much larger, thinner fried cutlet, topped with tomato salad.

 Trippa alla milanese

Trippa alla milanese
Many centuries ago, Milanese ate this dish to celebrate special occasions, particularly after midnight mass on Christmas. Also known as busecca in Milanese dialect, this soup is a hearty blend of high quality tripe, pancetta, white beans, vegetables and grated cheese.

Ossobuco

Ossobuco
Beloved worldwide, veal shanks are braised until the meat falls off the bone, then cooked with tomatoes, vegetables and white wine. It’s usually accompanied by risotto alla milanese. This dish literally means “bone with a hole” in Italian—and many argue that the best way to finish the dish is to scrape the bone marrow out with a small fork and spread it on freshly-baked bread.

Cassoeula

Cassoeula
The trick to making this pork, sausage and cabbage stew? Leave no part of the pig behind. Yes, that means including the ribs, tail, ears, and even head. While there’s no debate over including offal, chefs do argue over whether or not to add tomato sauce.

Minestrone alla milanese

Minestrone alla milanese - Primi Lombardia
Most of Milan’s cuisine tends to be rich, so this is a great option on the lighter side: a medley of vegetables, sometimes flavored with pancetta. Ingredients depend on what’s in season. The soup is served piping hot in the winter months, and lukewarm in the summer.

Panettone

Panettone
A fluffy, sweet bread filled with candied fruit and raisins, sometimes accompanied by a mascarpone cream sauce. This dessert, a Christmas staple, is usually brought as a gift during the holiday season. On February 3rd, Italians commemorate San Biagio (Saint Blaise); tradition has it that eating a slice of dry, leftover Christmas panettone for breakfast will ward off the flu and protect your nose and throat. We’re not so sure ourselves, but we do like any excuse to dig into panettone!

Polenta

Polenta1

A hearty, stick-to-your-bones cornmeal dish that can be topped with endless possibilities or served as a simple side dish. Popular polenta recipes include adding in meat ragù, sausage and mushrooms, gorgonzola, or butter.