Milan is Italy’s second biggest city, but probably the most trendy and chic, as it is very much influenced by the fashion industry. It is a very cosmopolitan city that attracts visitors and residents from all over the world. This leads to a very varied cuisine with some of the best restaurants and chefs competing for clientele and always being innovative with their cooking. Most of the trends in Italy will start here first. The Milanese people are very demanding when it comes to their food, so you will undoubtedly try some great food when you visit the city.
There are some characteristics of Milanese cuisine that make it unique, and will certainly make it a memorable experience if you are visiting this part of northern Italy.
One of the famous dishes of this Italian region (Lombardy) is the cotoletta, or breaded cutlet. Cotoletta alla Milanese is usually veal, or sometimes turkey, and fried in a pan of butter. This part of Italy uses creams and butter as opposed to olive oil and tomatoes, as you would find in southern Italian cooking.
Risotto alla Milanese
Another popular dish for Lomards is risotto giallo, or a yellow rice dish with saffron usually added, similar to some Latin-American flavors. In this region of Italy, rice has the same importance as pasta. It is usually served when pasta would be served, during the “Pasta e Primi” portion of the meal. The rice is normally toasted during the risotto making process. Rice was introduced from the orient in the 1500’s and has been a staple in Milanese cuisine ever since.
Cheese from Lombardy
The cheese from this region is typically gorgonzola, and the best type is known to come from the town of Novara.
Panettone – a Christmas treat
This Christmas time treat, is similar to fruit cake. This actually originated in Milan, but you can find it all over Italy during the holiday season. In Milan, they typically start eating it around December 7th, during a feast which honors their patron saint (Saint Ambrogio, or Ambrose). And it is typically consumed up until the Epiphany on January 6th.
Wines from Lombardy
The wines in this region are not some of Italy’s most famous, however, there are some delicious wines that are produced especially a little northeast of Milan. The type of grape is the nebbiolo grape and it produces the Valtellina Superiore and the Sorzato di Valtellina, a delicious dessert wine. Next to Lake Garda, a little north of Milan, there are some notable white wines that are produced.
Even though the cuisine is not typical Italian, you will without a doubt enjoy the food from Milan if you were to visit this part of the country during your holiday in Italy.