The Lake Como area, like the whole of Italy, is also told through its culinary tradition. Local products to be tasted at least once in a lifetime and to be tried if you come to the lake as a tourist. Fish, cured meats, cheeses, polenta and much more!
Let’s discover together the 5 typical dishes of Lake Como.
The dish par excellence of the Larian tradition is certainly polenta. It is a humble dish prepared with corn or buckwheat flour, water and salt. It was traditionally prepared by peasant families as their main meal, but today it is increasingly used as an accompaniment.
Thanks to its simplicity, you can find polenta combined with a large number of other delicacies such as eggs, cheese, meat, sugar, fish and potatoes. The ‘uncia’ version of polenta, made with cheese, garlic, sage and butter, is a must.
An essential course for a meal on the Larian tables are the Missoltini. The Missultin, as they are called in dialect, are the agoni which are fished in May and then left to dry in the sun.
They are then stored in layers, with laurel leaves, in the missolta, a container closed with a weighted wooden lid, so that the missoltini remains under pressure for several months. They are grilled and seasoned with oil and vinegar.
Risotto with perch
A typical Larian dish that should not be missed is risotto with perch. This is a unique dish that combines rice, strictly carnaroli, with perch, exclusively from Lake Como.
The risotto is whipped with local cheeses and butter with the addition of spices and lemon zest. The fillets of fish, floured and browned in alpine butter, once crispy, are laid on top of the risotto. Impossible to resist.
Whether made from cow’s, goat’s or mixed milk, all the cheeses in the Lake Como area are characterised by the animals’ life in the pastures.
Some of the best known are: semuda, a medium mature cheese made from skimmed cow’s milk, magro di Bellagio, made from semi-skimmed milk and matured for 25 days, goat’s zola, with a much firmer texture, and zincarlin, made from curd or ricotta with the addition of herbs and pepper.
The miascia is a sweet bread cake linked to the tradition of the poor cuisine of Lake Como. Its main ingredient is stale bread, an ever-present element in Italian cuisine. Milk, eggs, sugar and, lastly, macaroons, pine nuts and sultanas are added to this ingredient to make it even more delicious.
A simple dessert that combines taste and tradition and has always been enjoyed by young and old alike.