Typical products of Lake Garda: what to eat

Simple, authentic, genuine. The cooking of Lake Garda is like a tasty and fragrant bread loaf. You can’t do without it! It’s almost like mopping up the plate with some bread when you eat at your grandmother’s house (you should admit you want to do it as well…)! And if you are one of those who count calories and avoid carbs, we could compare the cuisine of this place, between freshwater and green mountains, to oil… extra virgin olive oil, of course! Precisely the oil produced in this area, the northernmost of the world, beyond the 46° parallel. Here in Garda Trentino a delicate, not intrusive, enhancing extra virgin olive is produced with pride and joy (in 1998 it obtained also the Garda Trentino POD – Protected Designation Origin).

Photo Isabelle Yrma Pace

From cheeses to dairy products, moving through processed meat. How can we forget the luganega (a sort of sausage), but mainly the carne salada (salted beef), undisputed protagonist on our tables (recently it has also obtained the De.Co. – original and traditional product – certification). The recipe is easy: you put some beef in salt solution for 15 – 30 days adding some pepper, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, sage, juniper berries and other spices which give this speciality a distinguishing taste, and that mixes perfectly with a classic side dish: fasòi con le zìgole (boiled beans with onions).

And if you are among the lovers of mother nature’s gifts, Garda Trentino rewards you with a vegetable called Broccolo di Torbole (a specific kind of green broccoli which takes its name from one of the villages of this area) which has a sweet taste thanks to the near Lake Garda and the Pelèr (a wind blowing from north-east), and with a texture that will win over your taste. From side dish to the main course, with the exquisite fish from Lake Garda: whitefish, tench, pike, chub and finally her… Madam trout! Undisputed protagonist of the best lake fish recipes.

We could even affirm we have created a real menu thanks to all these products. And how could we end without a sweet treat? Surely with the plum from Dro (another village of our area), that obtained the Protected Designed Origin certification – POD, in 2010. This fruit has a dark blue skin, a green-yellowish solid pulp which is appropriate for a long conservation (you should try it dried, it’s delicious). And if you are a cooking lover, don’t worry: this plum is a versatile element in the preparation of desserts , tarts, semifreddo and delicious preserves!

You know what? I’m hungry now: I take up a bit of imagination and the lovely products made in Lago di Garda, and I let myself be transported by the graceful sensations they call to taste. After all, could Goethe, Mann, Kafka and all the other writers who came here, have been inspired only by the places? I bet their masterpieces have been created after having tasted the delights of Lake Garda!

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