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Eating and Drinking

Eating and Drinking

Traditional Milanese cooking is made up of simple, meager dishes and perhaps for this reason it was banished during the ambitious 1980s. It has only recently returned to popularity. Milan is a city that lives off fashion and trends: there was Chinese cooking (that was obviously discovered here before it was adopted in the rest of Italy), then Indian cooking, then African cooking, followed by Japanese and Middle Eastern cooking. The Milanese people have now returned to their origins, enjoying the tastes with the pleasure that one feels when one returns home after a long trip. Now there are trattorias, inns and restaurants (including luxury ones) everywhere that offer traditional Milanese dishes to eat.
If you are planning to visit this city, don’t miss out on the chance to try some typical food that you can find here in their original version.

We offer you a typically Milanese menu in our guide to Milan, from antipasto to dessert. Actually, from the aperitif, because an evening in Milan cannot go without this ritual.
One of the many aperitifs that you can try out during happy hour is the classical Negroni, which is a little “aggressive” but is especially loved by the Milanese, made with Bitter Campari, Gin, red Martini and ice, that must be tried with a few snacks. After your aperitif you can choose one of the several restaurants in Milan that specializes in traditional cooking. We advise you to start with a traditional antipasto, made of nervetti (boiled calf’s shank and knee cartilage cut into strips) and mixed with thinly sliced onions. As a first course you cannot miss out on the classical Risotto alla Milanese, made with a full-bodied beef broth (the original recipe includes bone marrow) and flavored with saffron. As a second course we suggest a classic Milanese dish: "cassouela", an extremely filling dish made with various poor parts of pork meat (tail, ribs, rind, feet and ears) cooked with green cabbage and other vegetables. If you are not feeling so courageous, go for a more traditional dish, a tasty Milanese cutlet that is probably nothing like you've ever tasted in other places: Milan restaurants actually serve a very tasty, crunchy cutlet, made with a veal chop, including the bone. Another alternative is veal tonné, that is a light, tasty veal slice covered in tuna, mayonnaise, anchovy and caper sauce. We recommend an excellent Barbera from the Oltrepò Pavese as your wine.
If you should decide to spend time in Milan that coincides with the Christmas festivities, you could end your lunch with a huge slice of Panettone, the typical local Christmas cake, that is even tastier if you eat it with traditional Mascarpone cream.

There are typical products from the province of Milan, including Salame di Milano, made from finely minced pork and beef meat, and many types of cheese too. Grana Padano is a famous cheese overseas, which comes from the Pò valley that includes the Lombardia, Piedmont, Veneto and Emilia Romagna regions. Mascarpone is also a typical Milanese cheese, that is an essential ingredient for desserts and creams, often mixed with other cheeses, salami or fish. However, the most famous Milanese cheese is without a doubt Gorgonzola, that rich, strongly flavored cheese that reigns supreme at the Milan dinner table. This creamy cheese, that has blue veins running through it, is used to dress tasty first courses (in this case mixed with mascarpone), and to flavor Polenta or can be eaten alone.
Finally, we should remember Crescenza or “Stracchino”, the soft, creamy fresh milk cheese
with a slightly sweet taste, that is excellent when spread on a slice of bread or eaten with raw vegetables.

If you are interested in buying foodstuffs or wine, you must visit Peck, a legendary temple of gastronomy. In Via Spadari, where there is also a famous fishmonger’s, you will find all you need to satisfy your taste buds and your sense of hedonism: DOP (certified origin) cheeses from all over Italy, all kinds of salami, extra virgin oils, aged balsamic vinegars, rare tea and spice mixtures, pretty preserves of food in oil and a wine cellar that is filled with the most valuable wines from Italy and abroad.

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