Savour the experience of winter in Trentino with these dishes!
Hearty, delicious recipes to keep you warm during the cold season.
Winter's frosty air makes us all a little lazier and more eager to stay at home. The dishes we eat should reflect that mood, while allowing us to indulge in particularly hearty and nourishing recipes designed to prepare our bodies for the challenges of the colder months.
Rich dishes with bold flavours; sometimes high in calories but, after all, that's just what we need to get enough energy to tackle those winter days and fill up on essential nutrients to strengthen our immune systems.
Tastes that can bring us back to the past, like a time machine, or reveal new avenues for our senses to explore. Winter is the season for long, slow stewing, wood stoves burning round the clock, with a pot of soup bubbling all day long.
From antipasti to desserts, we’ve selected simple yet sophisticated recipes that represent the best of Trentino’s culinary traditions. These are the flavours of an ancient land of snow and mountains, which has preserved its finest specialities while also coming up with inventive new uses for the authentic and exquisite produce yielded by the earth and the people who work it.
To start off on the right foot
Potatoes and apples, lovingly harvested between the end of summer and autumn, are the undisputed stars of the winter menu. They can be used to create surprising texture combinations and contrasting flavours, particularly if paired with slightly fatty foods. Here, we’ve found 2 versions to recommend to you, with smoked trout or with speck.
Nothing is more effective against winter’s harsh temperatures than barley soup, or a tasty plate of canederli dumplings. These are dishes taken from Trentino’s most authentic, everyday culinary tradition. They have many variations, which may reflect the differences between one valley and another, or the addition of a secret ingredient passed down through the generations of a family. All this to say that these dishes are never the same, but always delicious; easy to prepare, though they might not seem it; and an excellent way to avoid waste in the kitchen — the canederli dumplings, for instance, feature stale bread as one of their main ingredients.
The crowning glory: potato tortel
While it’s often considered a main course, potato tortel is really best described as a meal in itself.
Depending on how many of these little fritters you wish to serve, their preparation may be quite an arduous task, as the potatoes (yes, them again!) must be grated raw. But all your efforts will be repaid in full when you see your guests enthusiastically tucking into this dish, served with cold cuts, mature cheeses, fresh or pickled vegetables, and even preserves for true gourmets.
To end on a sweet note
We can think of these desserts as representing different occasions. While the Zelten — particularly this rich version — is typical of the Advent period and Christmas, the “torta da frigoloti” (literally meaning “crumb cake”) has many similarities with recipes from other regions of northern Italy; though, as you can imagine, the creamy dairy butter makes this one the tastiest of all! Nonetheless, this is a simple, “everyday” sort of cake. It stays good for a long time and makes an excellent breakfast, or can be nibbled in between sips of an authentic Trentino Grappa.