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The Cooking and Cuisine of Trentino Alto Adige


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Elie,

Amazing looking soup! By looking at it you can't tell there is buttermilk in it, was the addition noticable in texture or just flavor?

-mike

edited to add: Elie, I am always amazed when I read your posts, almost all things are homemade in some shape or form. I want to be like you when I grow up! :raz:

Edited by NYC Mike (log)

-Mike & Andrea

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Thank you for the compliments Mike. the buttermilk cooks for quiet some time in the soup so the effect on texture is not too obvious (I guess it ight be if I make the soup with no buttermilk and compare). So, for me it is mainly the slightly milky tangy flavor it adds to the soup.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Diddums, nothing but rind of home-cured bacon, home-cured pancetta, and homemade sausage! What, you can't you afford store-bought?

That ingredients picture is so gorgeous, it might be the first soup I've seen that looks even better raw than cooked.

I'm doing an E-R birthday dinner on Saturday, so I'm just lurking here for the moment.

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Can we talk about AA wines for a minute?

I'm finding a lot of different whites that I like very much, beyond the standard pinot grigio.

And the pinot noirs have gotten much better.  Some are very good now.  (And a bargain.)

But I can't can't can't get myself to appreciate lagrein.  Is it just me?  Does anybody like it?  Who are the best producers?  What does it go best with?  I just find it thin and dull.

Perhaps of not much practical help but I found this website on wines of the Alte Adige which may give some background: click

I have a cookbook in German from the region by Andreas Hellrigl called, "Sudtiroler Kuche". Here is a list from the book of wine varietals from the region:

Red:

Blauburgunder (Pinot Noir)

Kalterer

Kuechelberger

Lagrein Dunkel

St. Magdalener

White:

Eisacktaler

Gewurtztraminer

Lagrein Kreitzer

Terlaner

Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc)

Web searches may also be helped knowing that the German name for the Alte Adige region is "Sud Tirol". A majority of people in the region still speak German as their primary language.

However, South Tyrolean society is still to some extent segmented across ethnic lines: each resident must declare his or her language group at the census (choosing amongst Italian, German or Ladin). According to the 2001 census more than two-thirds of the population is German-speaking (69%); the second most used language is Italian (26,5%), followed by Ladin (4%). Places today have two (Italian and German) or even three (with Ladin) names on the road signs. German is the majority language of 103 of 116 municipalities, with the remaining 13 divided between Ladin (8) and Italian (5). However, the two largest cities, Bolzano and Merano, both now have sizeable Italian-speaking populations (73% and 48% respectively).
click

The Italianization of the region began primarily during Mussolini's rule after the region was ceded from the Austro-Hungarian empire in the post WWI-settlements.

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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From the Tango Italia website:

Biroldi con crauti: blood sausages stuffed with chestnuts, walnuts and pine nuts, flavored with nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon, served with sauerkraut.

Blau forelle: trout poached in white wine with vinegar, lemon, bay leaf and clove, served with melted butter.

Carne salata: beef marinated for a month or more in brine with juniper berries, pepper and herbs, eaten either sliced raw or cooked in butter and served with beans or polenta

Gemsenfleisch: chamois Tyrolean style with red wine vinegar, salt pork, herbs and sour cream served over toasted country bread.

Orzetto or Gerstensuppe: barley soup with onion, garlic, vegetables and herbs simmered with Speck‹eaten in both provinces.

Leberknödelsuppe: dumplings of bread crumbled and mixed with flour, milk and eggs and flavored with chopped calf¹s liver and herbs served in broth.

Minestra di trippa: Trento's tripe soup with onion, carrot, celery, garlic, potatoes, grated bread and tomato sauce.

Sauresuppe: Tyrolean tripe soup with onion, herbs and nutmeg soured by white wine vinegar.

Recipes given for:

Südtirol Recipes:

Minestra di orzo

Canederli allo speck in brodo

Gnocchi di "molche"

Insalata di cavolo cappuccio con speck

Apfelstrudel - Strudel di mele

Kaiserschmarrn - Omelette spezzata

Trentino Recipes:

Strangolapreti

Canederli

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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From the Tango Italia website:

Biroldi con crauti: blood sausages stuffed with chestnuts, walnuts and pine nuts, flavored with nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon, served with sauerkraut.

Blau forelle: trout poached in white wine with vinegar, lemon, bay leaf and clove, served with melted butter.

Carne salata: beef marinated for a month or more in brine with juniper berries, pepper and herbs, eaten either sliced raw or cooked in butter and served with beans or polenta

Gemsenfleisch: chamois Tyrolean style with red wine vinegar, salt pork, herbs and sour cream served over toasted country bread.

Orzetto or Gerstensuppe: barley soup with onion, garlic, vegetables and herbs simmered with Speck‹eaten in both provinces.

Leberknödelsuppe: dumplings of bread crumbled and mixed with flour, milk and eggs and flavored with chopped calf¹s liver and herbs served in broth.

Minestra di trippa: Trento's tripe soup with onion, carrot, celery, garlic, potatoes, grated bread and tomato sauce.

Sauresuppe: Tyrolean tripe soup with onion, herbs and nutmeg soured by white wine vinegar.

Recipes given for:

Alte Adige (Südtirol) Recipes:

Minestra di orzo

Canederli allo speck in brodo

Gnocchi di "molche"

Insalata di cavolo cappuccio con speck

Apfelstrudel - Strudel di mele

Kaiserschmarrn - Omelette spezzata

Trentino Recipes:

Strangolapreti

Canederli

The embedded link on cured meats of the region is tantalizing although it wouldl likely be difficult to find anything other than the wonderful Tiroler Speck or Lardo in the US: click

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Ludja, will you marry me? I have been looking for that strangalopreti recipe for 6 1/2 years, ever since I ate it on Lake Como. That looks like the exact thing our server spelled out for me in Italian, which, since I don't speak Italian, has been difficult for me to be sure of. Thank you!

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Ludja, will you marry me?  I have been looking for that strangalopreti recipe for 6 1/2 years, ever since I ate it on Lake Como.  That looks like the exact thing our server spelled out for me in Italian, which, since I don't speak Italian, has been difficult for me to be sure of.  Thank you!

:smile: Cool, I hope it lives up to your memories if you try it at home!

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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White:

Eisacktaler

Gewurtztraminer

Lagrein Kreitzer

Terlaner

Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc)

Unless they're calling it something else, doesn't that list omit what is by far the best-known white grape (or indeed wine grape, period) in the AA, at least here in the United States?

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White:

Eisacktaler

Gewurtztraminer

Lagrein Kreitzer

Terlaner

Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc)

Unless they're calling it something else, doesn't that list omit what is by far the best-known white grape (or indeed wine grape, period) in the AA, at least here in the United States?

I don't know; which grape are you referring to?

(The list above is from an alte adige/sud tirol chef cookbook that was written in 1970 so perhaps it is an idiosyncratic list or one that reflects varietals that were more prominently planted pre-1970? Just a guess.)

Here is some more white wine info for AA: click

The growing demand for white wines has influenced growers to plant more of the international premium varieties. The heights are favorable to aromatic whites: Sylvaner, Veltliner, Gewürztraminer, Müller Thurgau and white Moscato. But the quality of Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Grigio and Sauvignon from certain cellars can also stand with Italy's finest. Trentino's native Nosiola makes a a tasty dry white and is also the base of Vino Santo, an opulent dessert wine from the Valle dei Laghi north of Lake Garda.

Although the region's white wines are sometimes considered light by international standards, the best of them have an unexpected propensity to age. Pinot Bianco, Riesling, Sylvaner and Müller Thurgau have been known to remain fresh and vital for a decade or more. But the emphasis remains on the popular Pinot Grigio and, increasingly, on Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer.

Trentino, which boasts Italy's largest production of Chardonnay, is a leader with sparkling wines by the classical method, many of which qualify under the prestigious Trento DOC. Alto Adige has also stepped up sparkling wine production. Ultimately, producers in both provinces have been making whites of greater weight and complexity, in particular from Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Pinot Bianco and Gewürztraminer, whose name derives from the South Tyrolean village of Tramin.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I went digging around in some of my books and came up with some info to share.

Trentinto Alto Adige was known as Venezia Tridentina until Mussolini came along and renamed it. Apparently Mussolini enjoyed playing with geography, as he also moved the border of Emilia-Romagna.

The area has a strange identity crisis, almost not Italian, almost not Germanic. TAA did not officially become part of Italy until 1918 and as recently as 1960 there was a German separatist terror campaign that required UN intervention.

TAA is 100% mountainous, it is the epitomy of alpine splendor, with mountain streams and lakes. The region is divided into two major ethnic groups: Trento which is Italian and in the south and Bolzano in the north which is German. The Adige river runs through the northern part of the region.

Odd fact: TAA has the most banks per capita in all of Italy. As anyone who has spent time in Italy has noticed, they have a LOT of banks, so to be number one, is saying something.

Although TAA only produces 1 % of the national wine production, ¾’s of that is DOC quality. (This seems like a suspect statistic because it is relatively easy to find TAA wines exported). They also produce 10% of the country’s grappa.

Words to remember, “Pane e vino fanno un bel bambino”. “Bread and wine make a beautiful baby.”

I went to my trusty little 1931 Guida Gastronomica d’Italia to learn more about the local dishes. (If anyone ever sees this little book, buy it immediately, it’s an amazing breakdown by region; but it is in Italian.) Trying to translate this region’s dishes is a challenge as many of the words are of German origin.

The Bolzano region is known for mountain potatoes, white pasta, sauerkraut, buckwheat flour and something called ‘farina di frumento’. My dictionary defines frumento as wheat or as graham cracker. Anybody? I have a friend from Florence who is checking into a translation. This farina di frumento shows up quite a bit.

The fruits sound wonderful: apples, pears, prunes, apricots all described as being the highest grade of perfection. And there are even berries: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.

Both beef and pork are commonly eaten. This is where you will find speck; a cured, cold smoked ham. The smoked speck lard is used as a base for many dishes. The prosciutto favored in TAA is prosciutto cotto, or cooked prosciutto. (Tastes like deli ham, IMHO.) Fresh water fish such as trout and eels are eaten.

Honey also is cultivated here, and there is particular importance given to a rare alpine honey.

Gnocchi or Knodl (my keyboard doesn’t support the little two dots over the ‘o’ so my spellings are going to be off, mi dispiace) is a staple and comes in all possible forms and with all possible ingredients.

Gnocchi neri or Schwarze Knodl made from buckwheat flour, milk or water, bread and in the Isarco valley, with chopped spinach.

Gnocchi di magro (Fastenknodl) (Lean gnocchi) made with bread, egg, milk, chopped onions and parsle

Gnocchi di fegato (Leberknodl) with flour and chopped liver

There is also a ‘gigantesco gnocco” that dominates the plate and is half submerged in broth, or is served with butter and cheese, or with sauerkraut. Look, we’ve discovered an Italian matzah ball, which is probably as deadly to your digestive system as a Jewish matzah ball! (ducks for cover because I know lots of people LOVE matzah balls, I’m just not one of them….)

In Meltina, a village above Vilpina, you can be served two giant, identical twin gnocchi, one fat, one lean, as in one with fat and one without.

Moving on.

Ravioli pusteresi (Pustertaler Tortln): large raviolis stuffed with spinach, sweet ricotta, cheese, egg, nutmeg and marjoram

Ravioletti (Schlupfkrapfeln: Made with chopped meat and rolled into pasta leaves. This is a dish for ‘grand occasions” and is called ‘strangolapretti’ or ‘strangle the priest’ in Trentino. It usually served with melted butter.

Polenta al forno (Ofenplent) Made with either yellow corn polenta, or black buckwheat; combined with an egg, lard, sausage and baked in the oven.

Vermicelli al latti acido (Tschottnudeln) or Vermicelli made with sour milk and served with various condiments.

Fried sage “Fritelle di salvia” (Salbeimaus of which the literal translation is little sage mouse). Sage leaves are dipped in flour and milk (I’m guessing here as the book says ‘farina fluida’) and then fried.

‘Cavoli acidi’, or ‘crauti’ (Sauerkraut): This is a signature German dish; however the Alto Adige people (Aidigians?) also combined saffron, cumin seeds, and “other drugs” in their sauerkraut. That is taken directly from the Guida, I have no idea what they mean by other drugs; could bring a whole new chic to eating sauerkraut.

Sweets seem to be baked tarts and streudels, although there is mention of excellent gelato in the summer months.

Here is one of the odder desserts listed:

“Orecchie di lepre (Hasenohrln or Pfannzelten) (Hare Eyes): Small balls of farina di frumento eaten with sauerkraut.

Pane tirolese (Tiroler Brot): Bread made with flour, butter, almonds, cinnamon, cloves, lemon peel and egg. Foodman, can you make enough of this for all of us??

Vecchine (Alte Weiver): Made with flour, eggs, prunes, cooked 3 times with lard, cut into pieces then submerged in boiling sweet wine and then cooked another two times. This sounds intriguing, but the description is too vague to understand what is really being made.

Numerous fruit liquors and eau d’vie are made in Alto Adige:

Strawberry syrup = Himbeersaft

Prune = Silvovitz

Cherries = Kirsch

Cumin = Kummel

Seems so strange to think of these liquors as coming from an Italian region.

While there are many pages devoted to the cuisine of the Balzano area, the Guida goes on to say that there are not many dishes that are regionally representative of the Trentino area.

Some dishes that are listed:

Canederli: similar to gnocchi, but very large and made with bread crumbs, flour, egg, milk, sausage, lard and parsley. They can be eaten in broth, or with sauerkraut.

There are other dishes listed, but they are mostly variations on what is served in the Alto Adige region.

What we are seeing here, is fundamentally German-esque mountain food. This is food designed for people who needed fuel to work in the mountains, meat dishes are scarcer and there seems to be much more reliance on pastas and polentas. Unless you are there in the summer, when it sounds like a fruit lovers paradise.

I listed all these dishes because I think that even without specific recipes, the preparations seem to be ones that we are familiar with and for learning about TAA, it becomes a a matter of combining these ingredients in ways that we haven’t really explored yet. So, who is going to make some sauerkraut, with or without those drugs??

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I went digging around in some of my books and came up with some info to share.

Trentinto Alto Adige was known as Venezia Tridentina until Mussolini came along and renamed it. Apparently Mussolini enjoyed playing with geography, as he also moved the border of Emilia-Romagna.

The area has a strange identity crisis, almost not Italian, almost not Germanic.  TAA did not officially become part of Italy until 1918 and as recently as 1960 there was a German separatist terror campaign that required UN intervention.

...

When I was looking around for information I came across some info that discussed that as recently as a few years ago someone in the Italian legislature proposed having a referendum so that people in the region could vote whether to stay with Italy, go back to Austria or else become a separate country! The referendum was apparently not held. Most things I've read have said that since Austria joined the EU this has lessened friction on this matter even more since people can cross the borders easily if they want to, etc. There is a blending of identities between EU, Italian and alpine Tiroler/Austrian.

edited to add: I think Trentino (south of Alto Adige) has significantly more primary Italian speakers than Bolzano and surrounding areas in the Alto Adige/Sud Tirol.

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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The Bolzano region is known for mountain potatoes, white pasta, sauerkraut, buckwheat flour and something called ‘farina di frumento’. My dictionary defines frumento as wheat or as graham cracker. Anybody? I have a friend from Florence who is checking into a translation. This farina di frumento shows up quite a bit.

Hathor

That is some great background.

From what I can determine, "farina di frumento" is as you described - wheat flour.

Dave

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Mrbigjas: if you start your sauerkraut this week, and post the results 6 weeks from now...I'll STILL be interested! :laugh:

My Florentine friend thought that it might mean "wheat powder", she also thought the language in my little guide book was quite archaic..and funny. Elsewhere in the book, just the word 'farina' is used to describe flour. This was the first time that the 'di frumento' showed up so that's why I wasn't clear on what was being used. So, as the Italians say, "Boh!"

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Hello guys!

I am finally back in London! I hope everybody had great holidays.

I'll start digging into my recipe files and see what I have about Trentino. I am so sorry I missed Emilia Romagna!

And yes, farina di frumento is wheat flour, so it referres to plain flour.

Edited by Franci (log)
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Judith.. sometimes Farina di frumento is to make sure readers know it isn't buckwheat flour which is often used.

Also I think your orecchie di lepre are ears.. not eyes!!!

I wonder if their "drugs" are like the tuscan ones for curing salami's?

And remember.. if you are driving down from the north to the south.. Alto Adige is really Sud Tirol!!! Viva Heidi!

Signs in the villages , are bilingual!

One of my favorte dishes was a fabulous large Gnocchi( I think the bread ricotta and herbs.. served with melted butter chives and cheese.

Paired with a lovely crisp white wine!

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The singular of gnocchi is gnocco, I assume?

Yes, it's lo gnocco/gli gnocchi although many Italians in the North will use the wrong article for the plural: i gnocchi. If you find it interesting, there is also a "il" gnocco fritto (also wrong articole) in Emilia Romagna which is a fried dough that is served with affettati.

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White:

Eisacktaler

Gewurtztraminer

Lagrein Kreitzer

Terlaner

Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc)

"Lagrein Kretzer" is not a white wine. It's mostly a rosato or even rosso. The wine is made from the autochtone red grape Teroldego.

H.B. aka "Legourmet"

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White:

Eisacktaler

Gewurtztraminer

Lagrein Kreitzer

Terlaner

Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc)

"Lagrein Kretzer" is not a white wine. It's mostly a rosato or even rosso. The wine is made from the autochtone red grape Teroldego.

Thanks for the info and for catching the typo on my original spelling of "Kretzer".

I looked back at the book and read some of the text on Lagrein Kretzer rather than just his listing under "white". He mentions that when a wine there is made just from the juice of the red wine grape it is called "Kretzer" or "Rose" or "Weissherbst". So, I guess he was listing this Rose under a White grouping...

Thanks for the clarifying input based on experience!

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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That's weird.  Isn't lagrein the name of a (red) grape?  And isn't it a different grape from teroldego?

"Lagrein" derived from Lagarino valley are white or red grapes. The red grapes are genetically comparable to Teroldego. That's why I mentioned the latter.

H.B. aka "Legourmet"

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      6.Ostia is available from confectionery suppliers. I get 8-1/2” x 11” sheets from www.sugarcraft.com under the name 'wafer paper'.
      This recipe is copyright 2009 by Patrick J. Santucci. Contact the author on eGullet under the username psantucc.
    • By Paul Bacino
      1 C Northern Beans soaked over-night in
      4-6C Water or Chxn Stock
      1/2 t Cayenne Pepper
      1//2 t Granulated garlic
      1 twig Dried oregano-- dried from last yr
      2 Bay
      pinch of salt ( yes ) and few pepper corns
      in the Morning; All into the Slow Cooker for 5 hrs. ( Crock Pot )
      I removed half the liquor and added chicken stock here back in . to this I added diced cooked Italian sausage about 1 whole .. simmer in a pot.. I transferred to... then add 1/2 head of shopped chicory ( curly endive ) finish cooking 15 mins
      cheers
      Most measurements again are from feel
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