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Trentino Alto Adige, found in the north east of Italy, is a region with both a landscape and a heritage that has few equals across ithe country and as such is subject to extensive preservation.
In addition to hiking in the summer and skiing in winter, not to mention the beauty of the towns and cities, there is another reason to head to the extreme north of this region: the typical food products.
The dairy richness of the mountains and the valley is extraordinary, but the typical products of Trentino also extend to various meats, meat products, and even fruit and vegetables.
Here are 7 typical products from Trentino well worth knowing:
1. Spressa delle Giudicaire DOP
Photo: Taccuini Storici
This cheese started life in the farms of the Val di Fiemme of Valli Giudicarie, Val Rendena and the Churches of the Valley as a waste by-product from butter making. Even today it remains a comparatively poor cheese that is obtained from semi-skimmed raw milk.
2. Mele della Val di Non (Apples from the Val di Non)
The Val di Non is the well known Italian birthplace of apples. The microclimate of the valley allows the prolific growing of the prized fruit: 300,000 tons of apples are harvested, accounting for 15% of national production and 5% of that of Europe.
3. Carne Salada (Salted Meat)
Photo: Piana Rotaliana
Until some time ago meat in Trentino (and not only there), was such a prized food the idea was to preserve it for as long as possible, achieved by putting it in brine together with water, salt and various spices. Thus carne salada or salted meat was devised, excellent served as a cold appetiser with a little oil.
4. Puzzone di Moena DOP
One of the few washed-rind cheeses in Italy and perhaps the best known of the many dairy products in the region: the challenging odour is compensated for by an intense and persistent flavour. It takes just a nibble to be won over.
5. Broccolo di Torbole (Broccoli from Torbole)
Photo: Slow Food Foundation
Broccoli of Torbole is particular not only for its colour, turning a yellow colour rather than green but also for its particular growing region. The vegetable grows only in the towns of Torbole and Linfano, where there is a mild micro-climate, when compared to the rest of the region. The leaves are used to make dumplings or soups.
Photo: Taste Trentino
The butter of the pastures of Primiero has been famous for centuries for its quality (in Venice there once even existed an exclusive club of "butirranti"). The Slow Food foundation is trying to recover the traditional processing technique which is but almost completely lost. The finished butter is unique for the beautiful floral pattern printed on the surface.
7. Ciuighe the Potty
Photo: Trentino EFFC
Historically this traditional meat was a "cold cut of the poorest cuts" or pork. These days only the best cuts of pork are used with added cooked turnips (to a lesser percentage than in the past). Formed as sausages and smoked, the ciuighe are eaten boiled or after longer ageing, and sliced like normal sausages.