Lake Como is not only known for its amazing landscapes and unique setting between woods and fresh water. The location is also famous for being the hub of delicious food and delectable wines.
There are several unique foods that can only be tasted in Lake Como, thanks to the managers who carry on the culinary traditions of the territory with a number of fine eateries.
The food of Lake Como comprises of simple, tasty dishes inspired by the humble cuisine of fishermen, farmers and farmers of the past. These simple workers were able to enhance what natural foods the land offered them into scrumptious and appetizing meals.
The variety of foods ranges from lake fish to cheese, salami and game, with meals also comprising of oil and flour. There are many wines to be tasted at Lake Como as well.
The oil here has a different taste; which is certainly richer and unique in its aromas as a result of the the microclimate of the lake.
Do not miss out on the sweets of the land, especially the ones based on dried fruit and simple ingredients such as flour, eggs and sugar. The most popular Lake Como dessert is certainly the Miascia, also known in local dialect as “turta paisan”.
Here is a roundup of the popular foods and beverages to taste and appreciate, while you admire the stunning view of Lake Como.
The Lake Fish
The villages overlooking the shores of Lake Como have practiced fishing as a focal activity in the past, and the same remains the case today.
The lavarello del Lario is one of the famous fish of Lake Como. It is then eviscerated or stored in its entirety immediately after being drawn. It is left in water and salt (brine) for about 7 hours and then hung to dry for 3 hours or more, depending on the size. It is preserved in brine, after being smoked.
The agone or missoltino is another featured fish of the Abbadia Lariana cuisine. The freshly caught agone is dried and then pressed into tin containers in brine. In this way it can even be kept for up to a year.
The missultin requires quite a simple preparation in an aromatic marinade. It is then cooked on the grill for a few minutes. The essential combination is with polenta. Missultin is typically served as a true local delicacy.
Besides these fish, you can also enjoy trout, salmon, the bottarga, the zander and the pigo. These fish can be enjoyed on their own or within soups and other very appetizing recipes.
The wide variety of cheeses found in the region of Lake Como are distinguished according to whether they were made from cow’s milk or goat’s milk.
One of the lean cheeses is the Semuda, based in skimmed milk and made strictly by hand. It is traditionally associated with polenta taragna.
Another excellent dairy product of Lake Como is the Taleggio Dop, defined as a “special” cheese. It is produced in the Lecco area and in Vasassina. Together with the gorgonzola, Taleggio Dop goes well with other soft cheeses that are seasoned in the many natural caves in the territory (the crotti).
The Lariano d’Alpeggio is also a very tasty, semi-hard, fat yellow cheese, with which an excellent beef carpaccio is prepared. The Lariano is made with goat’s milk, with which locals also prepare puddings and the tucc e regell, which comprises of polenta and mulled wine.
Salami and Meats
There are many cold meats that can be enjoyed in these parts, especially meats of goat origin. There are, however, other varieties sausages which have managed to earn a place in the specialties of Lake Como, including liver mortadella, hams, salami Filzetta, head, and salami Milan.
The cured meats are often served as starters, and they accompany the main dish of polenta once again. The typical food made with cured meats is the casseoula or cazzoéla, a unique dish based on pork and cabbage.
Barolo-style braised beef is also very tasty, as is the second game with rabbit. Do not miss out on the chicken and turkey meats of Lake Como either. In the winter months, the stuffed hen is very popular. It is first boiled and then stuffed with meat, stale bread, vegetables and aromatic spices
On Lake Como, excellent quality oils are produced through cold pressing technique. Among these are the Lario DOP and the Olio dei Laghi Lombardi. They are both distinguished by low acidity levels, with a persistent and slightly spicy taste.
The olive harvest takes place between October and January and is carried out almost exclusively by hand, so as not to damage the plants. The Olio dei Laghi Lombardi also obtained the PDO quality logo, particularly for the areas of Lario and Sebino, together with 33 municipalities in the Como area and 24 in the provinces of Bergamo and Brescia. There is a geographical indication on the labels that reads “Lario”, to denote the origin of these unique oils.
Flour is an indispensable product in any kitchen, but the flour of Lake Como is not just used for typical sweets, such as the Mescia, Pan Meino or Pan Mataloch. This flour is also used for baked goods such as bread and in the preparation of both the yellow and the taragna polenta. The name “taragna” is derived from the ladle (the tarai) used to mix it or “tarare”, according to the expression in local dialect.
Flour-based dishes rank among the top specialties of Lake Como, in addition to the meat dishes, fish, and vegetables. There are also other popular dishes, such as the famous ciabatta, which seems to have been invented in these parts.
The winemaking traditions of Lake Como are similar to that of oil making. These are niche wines, obtained thanks to the great commitment of the local winemakers, who have managed to adapt to the roughness of the mountainous terrain. The end result is an exalting and rare product with truly unique flavours.
The wines that are obtained in Lake Como are red, rosé and white. These wines are a symbol and expression of the aromas, elegance and extraordinary nature of this land.