December 5, 2012

Tastes of Ticino

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:03 pm by newsurroundings

Risotto, polenta, gnocchi- oh, my!   I really love how each country and even each region has its own local specialties.  Pizza and pasta are very popular in Ticino, but there is so much more.  They love their meat here- and so do we.  We’re not adventurous enough to try the tail of a toad offered at one of our favorite restaurants, but I tried lasagna made with game and it was delicious.  The meat choices are plenty- rabbit, veal, lamb, horse (not for us), beef, special sausage from Lugano (Luganighetta).

Bryan getting ready to devour his Luganighetta and polenta.

Risotto and polenta are served everywhere and can be meals unto themselves.  My personal favorite is risotto with porcini mushrooms, but it also comes with parmesan, tomatoes, frutti di mare (seafood), or just about anything else a chef wants to put in it.

Grottoes are typical Ticinese restaurants.  They are usually in very old buildings set back among trees with simple, rustic decor and outdoor seating.   Many of them have big open fireplaces- really cozy on a cold day.  The wine is served in little ceramic bowls and the place is usually filled with locals who all seem to know each other.   At first, we thought most of the grottoes were so run-down that we didn’t want to go in, but now it seems like that is the attraction.  Funny how our attitudes change.

Grotto Morchino in Paradiso

Cervo (deer meat) and pasta.

Cervo (deer meat) and pasta.

One of our favorites in Lugano.

One of our favorites in Lugano.