The Cuisine of Lombardy
By: Liz Flynn
Lombardy is not usually the first region that springs to mind when thinking of the beautiful produce and cuisine of Italy. However, this region has some amazing produce and stunning dishes. Here is an overview of the cuisine of Lombardy.
Cheese and Dairy Produce
The cheese produced in this region is amazing and if you have the chance to try a cheeseboard and sample the local produce, you should take the opportunity to do so. The most famous cheese from this region is gorgonzola. However, Lombardy also produces robiola, taleggio, and crescenza cheeses. Due to the large number of cattle in this region, both butter and cream are used more in Lombard cuisine than the cuisine of any other region in Italy.
The farmland in Lombardy is ideal for raising cattle, so both beef and veal are readily available and used in many of the dishes. Ossobuco alla Milanese, made from veal shanks braised with white wine and vegetables, is one of the best-known dishes from Lombardy. Pan fried veal cutlet is also popular. The offal of the cattle is also used and veal heart fried and served with a garlic, basil and parsley sauce is particularly tasty.
Rice, Polenta, and Pasta
Unlike many other Italian regions where pasta is the main staple of the diet, in Lombardy, both polenta and rice are both widely used. Risotto alla Milanese is a risotto flavored with saffron and this is often served as an accompaniment to ossobuco alla Milanese. Polenta c uccelli is a dish from Bergamo and includes polenta, fontina and toma cheeses, Parmigiano, melted butter and spit-roasted birds. Although pasta is eaten less than rice and polenta, the region is famous for Tortelli di Zucca. This is ravioli stuffed with pumpkin.
One Pot Dishes
One pot dishes are an important gastronomic feature of Lombard cuisine. Stews and casseroles are most commonly eaten in the winter months and often include the lesser cuts of meat or offal along with whatever vegetables are available at that time of the year. It is also common for rice to be added to these dishes.