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A TASTY VACATION: WHOLESOME FLAVOUR
Solandrian cuisine centers on simple but by no means unimaginative dishes, many of which are based on secret recipes dating back to grandmother’s era. They are characterized by their Alpine origins, and make use of dairy products still carrying the aroma of hay, the fragrance of fresh grass, and the smell of pristine mountain air. Solandrian cuisine includes many game dishes, often garnished with forest berries and health-giving herbs.
You really ought to try such dishes as Strangolapreti («Priest Chokers»), gnocchi di comede (wild mountain spinach dumplings), capellazzi or monchi (delicious pasta dishes), potato pancakes, and many different kinds of soup. And when it comes to dessert, why not try some torta di fregoloti (a kind of crumble-topping cake), carrot cake, or that all-time favorite: strudel.
CASOLÉT, A LISTED SLOW FOOD PRODUCT
Casolét is a traditional cheese that is unique to Val di Sole, where it was once widely produced. It is a typical mountain cheese made from raw ingredients and whole milk. It used to only be produced in autumn, when the cows had been brought down from the mountain pastures and local fodder was scarce. It was regarded as a high quality cheese for the home kitchen, and was generally eaten during the winter.
You can buy casolét from the two major cheese dairies in the valley or from small specialist shops.
SEVERAL TYPICAL VAL DI SOLE RECIPES
Solandrian cuisine is based on simple dishes that use secret recipes dating back to grandmother's era.
LA TORTA DI FREGOLOTI
(TRENTINO CRUMBLE CAKE)
300 g all-purpose flour
150 g butter
100 g sugar
1 tablespoon of grappa or brandy
a pinch of baking soda
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon of honey
70 g blanched almonds
a pinch of salt
«Torta di fregoloti» is a typical, nourishing mountain dessert with a strong buttery flavour. Mix the butter and sugar together until it resembles coarse crumbs, then add the egg yolk, honey, salt and grappa. Then, add the flour which has been previously sifted, the baking soda and the ground almonds. Spread the mixture in a greased baking pan, the mixture should be crumbly, and bake in a pre-heated oven at 150 degrees C for 45-50 minutes. It is recommended that you slice this cake while it is still warm, so as to avoidcrumbling.
TRADITIONAL «TORTA DI PATATE & TORTEI DI PATATE» (CRISPY POTATO PATTIES AND POTATO PIE)
8 large potatoes
3 tablespoons of flour
add salt as required
add oil as required
Peel and grate the potatoes. Add the flour and a pinch of salt and evenly mix together; pour the mixture into a well-greased pan, add a bit of oil over the mixture and bake in an oven at 250°C. Bake until crispy or until it has a deep golden colour. This is the traditional recipe used to prepare a potato pie called «torta di patate». Potato patties known as «tortei di patate» is another popular dish that can be made using the same recipe, the only difference is that they are fried in a pan. Therefore when the oil has heated up, add a spoonful of the mixture, turn each patty over on the second side until it is golden brown on each side. Enjoy your meal!
BUCKWHEAT DUMPLINGS WITH CASOLÉT
Ingredients for 4 people:
150 g stale bread
100 ml milk
30 g butter
75 g buckwheat flour
1 white onion
80 g Casolèt cheese
80 g Trentino parmesan cheese
sage butter, parsley
salt and nutmeg
Cut the bread into small chunks and mix with the warm milk, eggs, parsley, salt and nutmeg. Finely chop the onions and sauté in butter. Add the bread mixture and leave to soak for approx. 30 mins. Now add the buckwheat flour and shape the mixture into dumplings. Press a piece of Casolét into the heart of each dumpling. Cook in salted water for 15 mins and serve with grated parmesan and melted sage butter. Enjoy your meal!