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Must try local cuisine in Milan

Milan, capital of the Lombardy region, is one of the cities that best mix-and-match the modern and the traditional, and this ability is also shown in its cuisine. Today we are going to learn which are the typical unmissable foods that you need to try in Milan.

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Must try local cuisine in Milan

When we talk about Milan, in Lombardy, we immediately think of its numerous tourist attractions, such as the Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, but the city is also a gastronomic den and today we are learning which typical Milanese foods you need to try there. Shall we? Here at  Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia  you make the trip of your dreams !!! ALSO: see our  “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”.

Our Introduction

Ah, the Italian cuisine! You must love it, right? Italian cuisine is, in fact, a fusion cuisine, and each region has created, recreated, adapted and perfected different flavors (many of them brought to the country by different cultures) in a unique way and with its own special twists. If there’s something in this world that Italians have mastered, it’s the art of eating well and, of course, this is reflected in their way of cooking, which has become a symbol of the Italians’ passion for good food. Check out our other posts about Typical Foods in: Florence, Venice, Naples and Rome.

Good to know

  • The term Enogastronomymeans food and wine tourism. Essentially it is an Italian word and it is also a newand not very common word YET”!

A bit of the history of Milanese cuisine

Traditional Milanese cuisine has always been different because of its various territorial elements. However, as we said earlier, Italian cuisine is a fusion cuisine, that is, several culinary traditions spread by the Milanese came from the hands of the different cultures who passed through that region. . When we talk about different cultures, we must remember that Lombardy was dominated by a series of different people: from the Celts to the Romans, without forgetting the Spanish and Austrians. From families like the Visconti and the Sforza, powerful names that ruled the city between the 13th and 16th centuries, the Milanese culinary art evolved in a colossal way. Click here for Milan restaurant tips!

The majestic gastronomy of the great names of Milan presented itself in a paradoxical way with the peasant cuisine, the cuisine of the less affluent population. Peasant cuisine was a simple cuisine made in a less sophisticated way, as if it were, in fact, only looking for its nutritional values. One of the best examples of this fusion between ‘rich and poor’ is visible to this day in Milan’s most symbolic dish: Milanese Risotto. The rice, prepared by the peasants, reached the nobility who added the precious saffron in its preparation, which transformed the dish and made it the best and greatest representation of Milanese cuisine to the world. That’s why we’ll start our list of typical foods you need to try in Milan with it, the king, the Milanese Risotto.

1) Must try local cuisine in Milan – TRY THE MILANE RISOTTO

It can be prepared with different types of rice such as Arborio or Carnaroli. It is important to mention that Italy has always had a strong relationship with the grain and, no wonder, is the main European rice producing country. Risotto alla Milanese (Milanese Risotto) has a millenary history. The recipe was born by chance in 1574. The ‘mixture’ of rice and broth was already used by peasants, as we saw earlier, but when the nobility added saffron to the dish, everything changed! The intention was to make the dish beautiful, with a golden tone and an exquisite flavor. It worked out! In a short time the whole city was talking (and making) the Risotto alla Milanese. The dish is traditionally accompanied by ossobuco and is delicious. What do you love about this dish? It is simple and buttery, with a smooth and almost poetic flavor!

2) Must try local cuisine in Milan – TRY THE OSSOBUCO

Ossobuco is a Milanese darling! Of course you can also find it in other Italian regions, however, OSSOBUCO OF DREAMS, only in Milan! This name derives from the ossbus dialect, which literally means pierced bone and indicates the piece of meat used. The meat is a slice of veal shank and presents us with tenderness and flavor. The recipe for Milanese ossobuco is ancient and you can see it in several cookbooks from the 18th century. The meat is simply made and seasoned with a gremolada”, which consists of finely chopped garlic, lemon zest and parsley, which gives the dish freshness and lightness. You can also find the dish served without the risotto and in these cases the meat can be accompanied by vegetables such as peas, carrots, green beans or mashed potatoes; the more modern versions also add fried bacon to the dish garnish. We have to mention the ‘queen’ of ossobuco: polenta! If risotto is king, polenta is queen and, whichever way you choose to try it, it’s a dish that deserves special attention!

3) Must try local cuisine in Milan – TRY COSTOLETTA OR COTOLETTA ALLA MILANESE

Our famous ‘beef Milanese’! A favorite of everyone visiting the Italian fashion capital! The dish is also known as French côtelette and it may cause some discord between Milanese and Austrians – who claim its creation – but in Milan, the cut for the preparation of the dish comes from the thigh and not from the loin as in Austria. One of the first records of this dish is from a document dated 1148, which is stored in the Basilica of SantAmbrogio; there you can read lumbulus cum panitio”, and in a free translation, it could be something like loin with bread crumbs. The dish is simple, tasty and light, even though it is fried. For its preparation, it is necessary to beat out the veal chops, which must remain at the height of the bone, coat the pieces of meat in the beaten egg, and then in the breadcrumbs. Meat can be fried in oil, but Milanese usually fry it in clarified butter. Some say that to make the ideal cotoletta, you should only use the first six cutlets of the suckling veal loin, and the PERFECT cotoletta MUST have the bone.

Something curious

Knowing the rivalry between Milan and Austria who claim the creation of the dish, the fact is that, almost certainly, the dish was created in the neighboring country. But in defense of Milan: it was the city who made the dish famous!

There are records that, during the stay of the Austrians in the Lombardy-Veneto region, they already consumed meat prepared in this way; this is confirmed by a letter that Radetzki sent to Emperor Franz Joseph, where he described the dish as a ‘tasty cutlet’, expounding the recipe in detail, and telling the Emperor that he must try this recipe.

4) Must try local cuisine in Milan– TRY CASSÖEULA

Not one of the lightest dishes on our list! Typically a winter season dish, it is not the most suitable for those who like refined flavors, but it deserves to be tasted. It has a strong flavor and is made with cabbage, tomato, onion, celery, carrot, black pepper and pork in all forms: fillets, sausages, tail and skins. We could compare this dish with our feijoada, but without the beans. The legend of this dish is very old and says it emerged during the Spanish rule in Milan, in the late 1500s. An army officer would have taught his wife, who worked for a noble Milanese family, this delicious recipe. The dish pleased and it did not take long to become famous in the Lombard capital, so much so that, some time later, it became the favorite dish of Arturo Toscanini, the Italian considered the greatest conductor of orchestras in the world.

5) Must try local cuisine in MilanTRY THE MILANE MINESTRONE

For vegetable lovers: this is the ideal dish! Minestrone is nothing more than a great soup that takes vegetables of all kinds, the most traditional being the use of cabbages, beets, lettuce, celery, spinach, parsley and fennel. The original recipe, however, is not Milanese and no one knows for sure where it came from, but the soup has become very popular for its ease of making, as there is no ‘fixed’ recipe for its preparation. In 1858 the word minestrone did not enter the New Dictionary of Synonyms of the Italian Language, but still the dish was spread throughout Italy and, in 1891, Pellegrino Artusi, literary critic, historian and Italian gastronome, inserted the minestrone. in your cookbook. Artusi claims to have first met minestrone in Livorno in 1855.

6) Must try local cuisine in MilanTRY THE PANETTONE

You didn’t think we would talk about Milanese cuisine without mentioning the blessed, famous and delicious panettone, right? Guys: it’s impossible to talk about Milan without talking about the Christmas symbol that was ‘born’ in the city! Legend has it that the traditional panettone must be at least thirty centimeters high, topped by a dome. This sweet bread has reigned since the 15th century. It is considered a smooth and elegant sweet and can be garnished with raisins or candied fruits currently we can find versions with chocolate, pistachios, nuts, among other ingredients. The dough is simple and made with yeast, butter, eggs and flour; it can be savored with coffee, wine, sparkling wine and other fillings with confectionery creams, chocolate or zabaglione (a sweet and frothy cream made from eggs, sugar and wine).

There are several legends about the creation of panettone, but the most widespread are the following: one, which would attest to the derivation of the name panettone from pan di Toni(Toni’s bread), says that the kitchen assistant of Ludovico il Moro, Duke of Milan invented this bread on Christmas Eve and that he added candied fruit and leftover pasta in the dough to fix a burnt dessert. Another very famous legend is that Toni, a Milanese baker, fell in love with the daughter of the owner of the place where he was working and wanted to give her a gift. Not knowing what to do, he prepared a sweet dough and added candied fruit to finish everything before putting the bread in the oven; and there are those who say that the bread was born ‘by accident’, when Toni turned a pot of fruit into a sweet bread dough that was already ready to go in the oven. In any case, the bread was popular with consumers and became famous all over the world.

Something curious

  • On February 3, Saint Biagio’s day, which is the protector of all throat ailments, it is said that people have to eat a slice of panettone. There is a legend that says that San Biagio saved a young man who was choking on a fishbone and that he was given a panettone as a gift.

BONUS Let’s talk about a famous drink?

It is known to most people that the Campari liqueur was born in Milan, which is an alcoholic beverage with a bitter and unmistakable taste; presents itself with a reddish color and is part of the famous international drink Negroni Sbagliato, which, literally, was born by mistakewhen a bartender made a mistake and replaced gin for sparkling wine. For the record: the traditional Negroni is made with red vermouth, Campari bitters and gin.

Gold Tip:

If you are in a city located outside Lombardy, avoid ordering typical Lombardy dishes. That’s because, as we said, each region has its own typical dishes and they are VERY proud of that, and may feel offended if they receive a request for a dish that is not typical of the region where you are. In some restaurants, there is not even a choice of dishes from other regions – especially the more traditional restaurants – however, many places have already understood that globalization also includes gastronomy and, therefore, in their menus, they offer dishes from different Italian regions.

 

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Hotels I advise in the Malpensa and Linate areas

Let’s start with the Malpensa and Linate areas, the city’s airport regions. Linate and Malpensa are close to the two main airports in Milan. Ideal for short stays and business trips or, and, if you have a car.

If you want to save a great option is the B&B, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices. 😉

If you prefer a good hotel, I have three options that I really like, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

Accommodation that I advise in the Duomo Region

One of the most charming regions is the Duomo area, cathedral and symbol of the city; this region is also perfect for those who love traditional cafes, trendy bars or for those who are always looking for the latest and follow the trends. The Duomo Square region is equipped with two metro lines, which make this region even more practical for those staying in the city.

If you want some indications of hostels and apartments, I have some options that I advise to save, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion already make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

I have two options for Hotels that I recommend, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

Hotels I suggest in the Historic Center Area

Another region to consider is the Historic Center of Milan, a tangle of charming streets. The so-called “fashion quadrilaterale”, the ideal place to shop in Milan, with its famous streets: Montenapoleone, Manzoni, Via della Spiga and Corso Venezia (and the Saint Spirit, Gesù and Borgospesso). Within this zone we can also consider the Zona Brera which is another wonderful area to stay

I have two options of B&B that I recommend, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

If you prefer a hotel, I have three options that I recommend, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

Hotels that I suggest in the Region of Brera

The Brera neighborhood is famous for its high fashion boutiques, exclusive art galleries and trendy bars – it is north of Piazza Duomo. The characteristic streets are inviting for a stroll without a destination. The main attraction is the Pinacoteca di Brera, where priceless works of art are exhibited – among them, the masterpieces of Raffaello and Mantegna. It is in the southeastern region of Brera that the “fashion quadrilaterale” is located. The region is frequented by VIPs and socialites who spend horrors in the boutiques of brands like Armani, Valentino and Versace, on the outskirts of the elegant “Montenapo” (as the Milanese affectionately call Montenapoleone Street)

I have good hotel suggestions in Termini, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

If you prefer B&B I have 2 good suggestions, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

Hotels that I suggest in the Navigli area

Also, the charming Navigli district is a very energetic region, which in recent years has developed a lot. The “bomb” region of bars, breweries, restaurants, bakeries and pizzerias and is home to one of the most acclaimed antique fairs in Northern Italy. The bustling nightlife, typical art galleries and characteristic streets make this region a great choice for those who want to stay in Milan and for those who love to enjoy the nightlife.

If you want to save a great option is the B&B, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

If you prefer a good hotel, I have two options that I really like, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

Hotels I advise in the Central Station Region

Another region with a high concentration of hotels is the Central Station, especially if you come by train. In this region there are several receptive structures and the best: for all budgets. Best region for those who want to do round trips from Milan.

If you want to save a great option is the B&B, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

If you prefer a good hotel, I have two options that I really like, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)


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Conclusion

Must try local cuisine in Milan Typical Milanese foods are delicious and the hardest part will be choosing which one to try! Of course, there are countless dishes to taste in Milan, but some of them are, in fact, more delicious where they were created’.

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