Whenever I think about Italy I picture the landscape of the Amalfi coast, the leaning tower of Pisa and the Vatican. I picture a landscape consistent with Southern Europe and the home of my great grandparents. It wasn’t until last week that I had a very eye opening experience. I was invited to attend a learning seminar showcasing the region on Trentino, Italy. Having never heard of this place before my interest was peaked.
Believe it or not this is a scene is from Trentino, Italy. It reminds me of something out of The Sound of Music. It’s the exact opposite of places like Sicily or Napoli.
Just as the landscape is different, so is the food and wine (did you really think I’d ignore that aspect?).
When most people think of Italian cuisine they think: Pasta, tomato sauce, olive oil, and some more pasta. When it comes to wines I think Sangiovese, Chianti, and Vermentino. Trentino on the other hand boasts a very different profile: think more breads, cheeses, butter, and animal products. The cuisine reminds more of hearty Austrian food than southern Italian. Trentino makes wine using their own varieties as well as international varieties.
These are some of the foods I had the chance to try while at the Lunch: assorted cheeses from Trentino, paired with their very own sparkling wine, Trento DOC., a Sauvignon Blanc, canederli, grappa moscato, and semifreddo.
One of the wines which caught my attention in particular is the Trento DOC. Produced according to the classic method – known as metodo classico in Italy, Trento DOC is becoming Italy’s finest sparkling wines. Like champagne the secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle. They are typically a blend made from Chardonnay, Pinot nero, Pinot bianco and/or Pinot menieur. Prior to the days event I never heard of Trento DOC. They are fairly new to the recognition they deserve.
Thirsty for more? Check out Trento DOC here .
with respects to the food, a hearty dish called Canederli, a bread based dumpling, was the show stopper for the afternoon.
They are often made using stale bread, milk, onions, parsley, eggs and a little flour. Often they are stuffed with speck (a smoked prosciutto), cheese, sausage, mushrooms or pancetta.
Here’s a recipe so you can have your very own Trentino experience at home! What I love about all these ingredients is that they are so easily accessible and the recipe leaves it open to substitutions! Put your chef hat on!
• 1/2 lb of stale italian bread
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 6 ounces diced Speck, sausage, or pancetta.
• 1 medium yellow onion, diced
• 6 cups whole milk or buttermilk
• Chopped parsley
• 4 tablespoons softened butter
• 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
• salt & pepper to taste
1 Put the pieces of stale bread in a large bowl and pour over milk. The milk will soften them. When completely soft, squeeze out extra milk.
2 Add the diced meat of choice and flavor with salt.
3 Mix in the butter, parsley and the onion.
4 Mix in the two eggs and stir thoroughly, adding some flour if necessary. Cover and leave for 20-30 minutes in the refrigerator.
5 Form balls about 2 inches in size and boil them in salted water for 15 minutes or until they float to the top.
6 Serve immediately with broth, tomato sauce or dry as is! Top with grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Asiago.
For a truly authentic Italian “wining and dining” experience collect your ingredients at an Italian market, like Eataly. Be sure to also explore the bottle shop located at their Flat Iron location to try all the wines of Trentino available!
Amanda Claire Goodwin