5 unusual foods to try at least once in your life
A food safari for the sophisticated palate to discover the most original favours of Trentino’s cuisine
Have you ever tried ostrich meat? Or carpione? A holiday in Trentino offers the opportunity also for the most sophisticate palate to savour unique flavours and unusual dishes, credit to a region that can expertly combine tradition and innovation, also in the kitchen.
The care and dedication in sourcing new ingredients, often rare or unique - but most of all genuine and healthy - has brought in the hands of our most creative chefs an exceptional range of locally grown products. Discovered or reinvented- some of these foods have become the most original dishes in the region. Let’s discover them here!
The Helix Pomatia is a mollusc commonly, and improperly, called “snail”, hailed by the French as a gastronomic delicacy for its white flavoursome meat. At agriturismo “Do’ Lumazi” (Albiano – cell. 338 782 8355) you can taste speciality dishes made with “Trentino’s snails”, biologically cultivated from egg to full size edible snail. Dishes included: escargots, snails & polenta, snails and speck, snails in Marie Rose sauce and vole-au-vent with snails & gorgonzola. Plus, some other very creative dishes.
Ostriches have been bred in Valsugana for the past fifteen years. They produce a lean red meat, rich in iron and protein, therefore healthy and highly digestible. The meat is tender and it lends itself to many recipes, from fillet to hamburger, from ostrich stew to ragù sauce. If you are in for a menu out of the ordinary, we recommend the “Due Mori” restaurant (tel. 0461 984251), in the centre of Trento.
This is not your common parsley, but a very particular type called “Cronil”, rich in essential oil which gives this aromatic plant its inimitable flavour, without the toxic substance apiole. This precious variety had been at risk of extinction until it was rediscovered in an area, near Brentonico, historically known for hosting the French troops led by general Vendome. To taste this rarity, head to “Bosco dei Pini Neri”, in Pozza di Trambileno (tel. 0464 868338), where people took the chance and believed in its properties.
Once there was a fish called carpione: this legendary salmonid fish lives freely in the depths of Lake Garda, and inexplicably, here only. Experts never found a full explanation but its unicity made it the finest freshwater fish in the world. At risk of extinction, this fish found a safe haven under the protection of the Slow Food movement. Call yourself lucky, if you have the opportunity to taste carpione at “Vecchia Sorni”, in Lavis (tel. 0461 870541).
Unjustly overlooked, corniole are the juicy fruit of the Cornelian cherry tree, a wild tree well known in herbalism. These deep red berries, resembling oblong shaped cherries, stand out for their sharp and slightly bitter taste perfect for preserves and syrups which are paired exquisitely to meat and cheese.
To taste this unique flavour, visit “Locanda Margon” in Trento run by award-winning chef Alfio Ghezzi.