Besides the stunning scenery and majestic clear-blue lakes, Ticino has something else to offer visitors—cuisine.
This Italian-speaking region of Switzerland brings together north and south to achieve a culinary perfection all its own. From Michelin-starred restaurants to rustic local grotti, gastronomy runs the gamut here in Ticino. Based on fresh vegetables, grains, and simple flavourings, Ticinese cuisine channels its Italian roots—with a dose of the delicious dairy that Switzerland does best.
GROTTO FULL THROTTLE
Despite the abundance of fine food and gourmet cuisine, traditional local staples are still favoured by young and old. The best way to taste them is to visit a grotto. These cave-like restaurants decorated in traditional style serve local specialities and are dotted all over Ticino.
You might think of pizza and pasta as classic Italian food, but here in Ticino, you’d be wrong - Ticinese are most fond of polenta, their main grain. It has even earned them a nickname—“polentone”, polenta-eaters. The thick porridge is made from corn grown in nearby Magadino and ground buckwheat is often added to the mix, bringing a slightly earthy, nutty taste.
In autumn or winter, order a steaming bowlful straight from a large pot on a crackling fire at La Baita in Magadino across the lake from Locarno. Top it with a hefty portion of local mountain cheeses like Valmaggia and Piora, which boast a PDO, “Protected Designation of Origin”. In the mood for something softer and creamier? Go for goat’smilk Zincarlin rolled in Alpine herbs or black pepper.
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June July 2019 Edition