Are you planning to visit this city and are you curious to know what local dishes you’ll only find in Verona? Let’s start with my favourite one: the “Lesso con la Pearà.” If you come to Verona, you must not leave without trying this delicious meal. In case you are wondering, the “pearà” is a sauce that garnishes boiled meat. The name comes from “pear”, meaning pepper, one of the recipe ingredients.
There are different types of pearà. Some people prefer chili instead of black pepper, grandmas are used to put bone marrow in order to make it tastier. One thing’s for sure: the cooking time has to be the same! In fact, pearà takes hours and hours, but trust me, it’s totally worth it.
Another special meal is the famous Risotto with Tastasal. The tastasal is a local sausage paste made with pork. It is then choppeed in little pieces and cooked in around 20 minutes with Riso Vialonee Nano (a variety of rice). The traditional recipe comese from the town Isola della Scala, south from Verona. If you will be here around fall I recommend you visit the famous annual Rice Fair to taste this creamy risotto yourself!
Are you a fish lover? Verona has something also for you. Obviously, the fish comes directly from the near Lake Garda: I am going to tell you two of the best ones.
- “Bigoli con le Sarde”, usually eaten during the Lent. The Bigoli is a special homemade pasta and similar to spaghetti, just a bit bigger.
- “Luccio e Polenta”. The Luccio, in English “pike”, is one of the most appreciated fishes from Lake Garda. Its delicate taste, combined with the traditional Polenta, is just perfect. Did you know that Polenta was the food of the poor? Nevertheless, today, nobody in Verona could ever live without.
To be fair with you, I really have to add some more local dishes from Verona I grew up with and that are worth tasting!
Let’s keep going with two particular savoury recipes celebrating two different types of meat.
- At first, the “Pastisada de Caval”. This stew horsemeat is very tender and delicious as well, thanks to the long cooking time.
- In all the North Italy, you also may find the “Polenta e Osei”. Even if it is typical of the city of Bergamo, also Verona has its own version, with birds cooked on a spit, garnished by polenta.
It is probably now really starting to get through that this city, in addition to its interesting points, also has excellent cuisine! Especially during Carnival time, the local people are used to eat “Gnocchi di Patate“. On the Friday before Carnival, called “Venerdì Gnocolar” in dialect, it is an absolute tradition to enjoy this handmade meal. Gnocchi, sounding like njokky, are a kind of dough balls made from potatoes and flour and are usually cooked with tomato sauce and served with some grana cheese, but you can also try the version with butter and sage.
If you love local food traditions as I do, check the related article. You will also discover what to see in this amazing place to visit on Lake Garda.
At my home, we usually have gnocchi with butter, grana cheese, cinnamon and sugar. I am sure once you have tried them, you could never have enough of them. Moving away from the city and discovering the Veronese territory, you will be surprised by other two exquisite local dishes. Only made with local ingredients of such a quality.
- I am talking about the famous “Risotto all’Amarone”, the same Vialone Nano Rice as the dish we discussed earliere cooked with the prestigious international Amarone wine from Valpolicella;
- and the homemade knot of love known as “Tortellini di Valeggio”. A ring-shaped pasta, sometimes resembling a tiny croissant, filled with a mix of meat and served in broth or butter and grana cheese.
To end the year on a sweet note, try the Veronese Pandoro this Christmas. It’s a typical dessert during the holiday season; its original name was “Pan de oro”. In English, it means “bread of gold”. Nowadays, you can find it in every home here in Italy. This product was invented by the baker Domenico Melegatti, who gave his name also to its company “Melegatti”. Some might know also about pandoro known as Bauli. It doesn’t matter which brand you will take, pandoro is always a good idea during the Christmas holidays. Especially if you share it with someone you love.