Milan, widely recognized as the world’s foremost fashion and design destination, is the capital city of Lombardy region in Italy. Similar to other Italian cities, Milan too has developed its own cuisine and culinary style that is akin in taste to that of the Lombardy region. Italy’s favorite, pasta, takes a bit of a back seat when it comes to ethnic food in Milan where rice is the prefered dish. Here’s our compilation of 7 Milanese specialities that you need to try before you die.
Gorgonzola is a blue veined Italian cheese that originated from a small town of the same name, just on the outskirts of Milan. It’s soft and crumbly in texture, made from unskimmed cow or goat milk. Popular ways of consuming this distinctive cheese include melting it in risotto and adding it to shorter pasta such as penne. Gorgonzola is also famously added to the four cheese pizza. In order to maintain authenticity, the production of gorgonzola is controlled to designated origins by the Italian law, and hence, when in Milan, you simply cannot miss getting your hands on this cheese.
Minestrone soup is found all over Italy, yes, but what sets apart the Milanese version from the rest of the country is the addition of rice instead of pasta as is common elsewhere. This extremely filling soup is packed with a bunch of fresh veggies, beans and cheese along with rice. Go check out a local Trattoria for a hearty bowl of the classic Minestrone Milanese.
Cassoeula is a wholesome Milanese stew that is savoured best during the cold winter months. The key ingredients of this stew are pork meat (less valuable parts such as ears, nose, feet, rind etc), sausage and cabbage, along with other veggies in smaller quantities. Cassoeula is usually served with polenta on the side. Try it out at Antica Trattoria della Pesa, one of the oldest and the most recommended eatery by food critics in Milan.
This sweet bread loaf made with raisins and candied fruits, is a holiday season favorite – enjoyed particularly during Christmas and New Years. Check out Pasticceria Cucchi in Corso Geneva which sells the classic Panattone cake throughout the year so that we don’t have to wait for Christmas to enjoy this sweet treat.
This veal breaded cutlet, is very similar to Wiener Schnitzel, but different only for the fact that it’s cooked bone-in. This classic Lombardian speciality is a favorite amongst locals and can be found at most trattorias and osterias.
A popular street food in Milan, and a quick fix for hunger pangs, Piadina is the name of Italian flatbread that is light on the inside, but slightly crunchy on the outside. It is popularly served stuffed with a variety of cold cuts, cheese and veggies.
Risotto alla Milanese with Osso Buco
As we mentioned above, Milan loves rice way more than it cares for pasta. Risotto, therefore, is a favored dish in the city. The traditionally Milanese version of risotto is perhaps the most simplest yet richest of preparations. Flavoured with luxurious saffron, it takes on a lovely yellow colour and is super creamy in texture. Risotto alla Milanese is generally served as a side to Osso Buco, a casserole consisting of the Veal shanks braised with vegetables, broth and wine. L’immagine Ristorante Bistrot has consistently received rave reviews from customers for its Osso Buco and Risotto alla Milanese, so give it a visit if you want to try this Milanese speciality.