The Lombardy region of Italy is rightly famous for its unique take on Italian food. The dishes of this region are created with special regional ingredients that guarantee not only fresh Italian cuisine, but intriguing Italian cuisine. If you truly enjoy Italian food, a trip through Lombardy is a must.
The food from Lombardy
Lombardy is cattle country, its plains filled with ranches, making dairy products abundant and cheap there. Dairy is one of the secrets to the region’s special flavors. When most people think of Italian food, they think of dishes soaked in olive oil. You will not find a lot of olive oil in use here. Butter takes its place instead. Lombardy cooks also use a lot of cream, often in place of tomato sauce, giving their food a taste not found elsewhere in Italy.
Robiola cheese is very popular in this region. It is made by combining a special blend of regional goat’s milk, cow’s milk, and sheep’s milk. The resulting flavor is subtle and complex, and prized by cheese lovers everywhere.
Another favorite cheese here is Grana Padano, a hard cow’s milk cheese that is aged as much as twenty-four weeks for a flavor that cannot be found elsewhere. No visit to Lombardy is complete without trying its unique cheeses.
Dishes of Lombardy
Single pot dishes are especially popular in Lombardy, a product of the region’s working class heritage. They make ideal meals for busy people who do not have all day to make something more elaborate. Traditional Italian single pot dishes are therefore found all over this area, such as polenta, rice, a wide variety of risottos, and rice-based soups, all with a unique Lombardy spin.
Saffron risotto, for example, is a regional specialty. However, if you want to sample something truly special that you can only find in this region, try the pumpkin filled ravioli cooked in butter. It is a common side dish for a traditional Lombardy entrée: stewed-meat-stuffed turkey. The flavors complement each other perfectly!
Italy is well known for having some of the best desserts in the world, and Lombardy upholds this fine old Italian tradition. One of the most popular desserts of this region is the sweet Christmas bread topped with candied citrus peel, raisins, and candied fruits. The torrone is a simple but truly decadent nougat creation coated in toasted, crushed almonds. Neither should be missed.
You may think you know Italian food, but if you haven’t tasted the food of the Lombardy region, you do not yet really understand it. Lombardy is a great place to widen your perception of Italian food, and if you are planning a trip to Italy, make sure that you stop there to dine.