Italian Cuisine: Italy Food Guide to Lombardy

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Well good morning from Milano, Italia.

We are here in Italy.

It is our first day, so we have gone in searchof the Italian breakfast.

Now we weren't entirely sure what an Italianbreakfast looks like so we did a bit of research and asked around and apparently it is justa coffee and anything sweet.

So that could be pastries, bread with jam,cake or cookies.

So we've sat down at a little cafe and we'regoing to have our first Italian breakfast.

So my beverage of choice today is the cappuccinobecause it is a very cold day.

And why not have some frothy coffee.

It's a cold day.

When is fifteen degrees considered cold? Look at the way I'm dressed.

I'm cold okay? Ooh, that is nice.

Excellent cappuccino.

Nice and rich and frothy? Mmmm.

Indeed.

Wanna try some? So this breakfast reminds me a bit of breakfastin France and also in Argentina.

A sweet way to start the day and I have tosay it is a quite a huge contrast and change from what we were used to in England and Irelandwhere we were having full savory breakfasts.

With eggs and sausages and mushrooms.

Lower calories and a lot sweeter.

And this pastry here I've selected, I honestlydon't really know what it is.

What made me select it was that I saw walnutbits.

And hey, I'm a huge fan of walnuts so I don'tknow what is inside.

It looks like it might be apple.

Let's find out.

I thought it was going to be prunes.

Mmmm.

No, no no.

That is like pecan pie.

That's pecan filling inside.

Let's see the inside.

Oh wow! That is so delicious.

Oh, it's like having pecan pie.

Pie for breakfast.

He's a happy boy.

And what do you have over there? Well, this is the pastry I chose.

It is a little twisty one with chocolate chips.

That is really good.

It is very buttery and flaky.

And you just can't go wrong with chocolatechips this early in the morning.

I'm a fan.

So we're going to be here for a week in theLombardy region and I can't wait to try as much Italian food as possible.

It's one of my favorite cuisines.

And last but not least, price point? Well, this delicious breakfast for two cameto five Euros and that included two cappuccinos and two pastries.

So not an expensive way to start the day.

Yeah, talk about value.

Mmmmhhmmm.

Okay guys, so I'm pretty excited about today.

We have left Bergamo behind and we're visitinga castle outside in the countryside.

It's called Castello di Malpaga and we aregoing to be taking a cooking class inside a castle.

So I'm going to get ready to start cookingand Sam is going to give you a tour of the castle so you can see what it looks like.

So this is a family owned castle.

It dates back to the 13th Century.

Let me give you a tour.

The first lesson of the day was to focus ondishes that take the longest to prepare, so we got started with dessert- a delicious tiramisuwith a modern twist! Like that? More aggressively.

Like that.

So I'm taking a quick break from the kitchento tell you today's menu.

We are going to be preparing beef tartareas an entree, ravioli for the main course and then tiramisu for dessert.

So it should be very tasty.

Let's get back to the kitchen and let's keepcooking.

For our main dish we prepared ravioli, andbecause this is Italy the dough had to be made from scratch.

There were no shortcuts here and everyonewas put to work kneading and then rolling out the dough into thin layers.

What are we doing over here? Rolling some pasta.

It requires a lot of muscle work.

More muscle than I have.

Preparing the stuffing was next.

We went with a vegetarian option, which waspumpkin.

Smashing pumpkins.

Like the bad.

Hahahaha.

So clever.

Once again, we took no shortcuts here.

Pumpkins were chopped, peeled, and then boiled,before being pressed into a paste that we used as our filling.

The last dish of the day was beef tartare.

I skipped out since it's not to my taste,but I was told it was very tasty.

So we have now finished preparing our threecourse meal and we're going to go have lunch inside the feast hall which has painted frescoesthat are just beautiful.

So let's go in.

Buon appetito! How is the food so far? It is delicious because I prepared it myself.

I hardly did any work actually.

The truth comes out.

And now that lunch is over we get to playdress-up.

Let me lead you around my castle.

I am Queen of this kingdom.

Once we had eaten lunch, it was finally timeto tour the castle – a very exciting prospect, especially when you're dressed in Renaissancecostumes.

We paraded around like kings and queens, andthen explored the former home of Bartolomeo Colleoni, who was captain-general of the Republicof Venice and earned quite the reputation battling neighbouring city-states.

We're Kings and Queens from around the world.

And winter is coming.

Winter is coming.

So I had a lot of fun cooking, eating andplaying king for a day in a castle but unfortunately all good things come to an end and it is timefor us to go back to Milan.

Well good evening from Milan.

It is our first full day here and it is nowdinner time.

So we just found a local little restaurantand we're going to be trying a traditional dish that is very popular in this city andin the Lombardy region.

We are going to have Risotto alla Milanese.

First impressions from Milan so far? Ah, it's been great.

Especially the food.

And every time you go to a restaurant I'mlooking at the menu and I'm like I want this, I want this, I want this, I want this.

So I have a hard time deciding and I'm noteven sure if we're going to get to cover everything before we leave.

Well, tonight it is risotto.

First impressions of Italian food here inMilan? It's been really good.

This bread I'm having right now is reallygood actually.

I'm already on my forth slice.

I'm a little worried because I may start toget full before the risotto actually arrives.

My Risotto alla Milanese has arrived.

And in case you're not too familiar with risottoit is basically a type of rice that is very thick, very starchy and it absorbs a lot ofliquids.

So this should be good.

It almost looks a little soupy and creamy.

And also my Risotto alla Milanese gets itscolor from saffron.

So saffron is a bit of a reddish orange colorwhen it is dry but when you stick it and mix it with the rice it turns it yellow.

So enough about that let's try it.

Surprise! Mmmmm.

Do you like that? Oh, wow! That is so good.

And it is already cheesy.

I mean I know I added a lot of cheese butI think they had already melted some cheese and mixed it in.

So yeah, very cheesy and very buttery.

You can never get too much cheese.

That is so good.

You're going to like this.

Wow.

Is it heaven? Seriously that is amazing.

Like risotto might be my new favorite Italianfood.

It's that good.

It's so good.

It is that good.

And the thing I like about this one is thatit is really plain.

Like I've had other types of risotto and thereis a lot of things going on.

There is a lot of different ingredients butthis is just really simple.

You've got your cheese, you've got your saffron.

Yum.

Right now it is six twenty in the eveningand we've basically got the restaurant to ourselves and that is because locals wouldnever go out to eat this early.

This is not even close to dinnertime.

I'm thinking more like eight, nine, ten maybeeven eleven.

That is what time dinner is.

And we can see all of the empty chairs rightbehind you.

Judging by your plate I'm assuming you enjoyedit? That is an empty plate and a happy boy.

And the price was also very reasonable comingin at seven Euros.

Great value, excellent meal.

So we've gone out for our first Italian Aperitivo.

Which is kind of like a pre-dinner drinkingtradition.

Basically, you get yourself a cocktail forabout 10 Euros and that gives you access to this massive buffet of like pizzas, pastas,olives.

Anything you could possibly imagine.

And this is what comes before dinner.

So I have to admit I was expecting very simplefood for the Aperitivo.

I thought maybe they would just give us someprosciutto cheese and olives.

You know, pretty cheap simple food.

But instead what we've found was this.

So I've got lasagna, I've got ravioli.

I have have stir-fried veggies.

And even french fries which are not Italianbut I had to grab a few anyways since they were available.

So how about you? What did you get for the Aperitivo? Give us a tour.

Well, basically I almost exactly the sameas you.

The main difference being I got a huge sliceof pizza and I think I got some more cold cuts and cheese.

You know what? All the pizza was gone when I went up there.

I think you took the last slice.

What can I say.

Alright, so I'm having a Bellini which ismade with peach juice and something else.

But I can't tell you what that something elseis because I just don't know my cocktails very well.

It's good stuff right there.

Sweet? Mmmmm.

Ah! And it appears you've gone for something abit more tropical.

Yeah, how can you go wrong with a classicPiña colada.

Now this looks really thick.

I'm hoping that they put a lot of coconutand not too much pineapple juice.

That's a pretty decent blend.

Yeah.

Yeah, I really taste the coconut.

I like it.

So the savory part is over.

What have we got now? Well, it was time for dessert so I went backfor seconds and they had lots of different cakes.

And then this is really good.

I'm not entirely sure what it is but it tastesa bit like a vanilla pudding crossed with custard.

I don't know my Italian desserts but I cantell you it is really good.

So I'm not going to share.

Okay, so final thoughts on your first Aperitivoexperience.

How was it? Well, considering we spent several nightsin Milan I can't believe it took us to our final night to actually go and try it.

We should have been doing this every night.

It's fantastic.

You get a really nice cocktail.

You get a nice spread of food and desserttoo for 10 Euros.

It's fantastic value.

And what did you think of it? Honestly, for me that was enough for dinner.

It was a lot of food.

I mean it is an open buffet so technicallyyou can go up as many times as you want but you don't want to be overdoing it.

Kind of like Vegas buffet style where you'rejust slapping the food on your plate until you've got a big mountain.

That's not how it works over here.

But it was really good, really tasty food.

I would also recommend coming early.

Aperitivo is usually between six and ten PM.

We showed up at like six thirty and it wasalready quite packed so come early, get a table and there will be more food optionsas well.

Good morning from Chiavenna.

It is a bit of a rainy morning but we arestill very excited to be here and out exploring because there is a festival taking place here.

Today is the day of the Bresaola and thatmeans that we are celebrating a deli meat.

And there is lots of different stands thathave been setup across the town.

So you can just wander around and sample somedeli meats.

So we're going to be trying lots of food today.

It's very exciting.

And just to give you a bit of background information,Bresaola is kind of similar to prosciutto but it is made from beef and it has very littlefat.

So that is coming up in this video.

So this is a look at the map of Chiavennaand it shows where are the Bresaola tastings are going to be taking place.

And there is fourteen different spots acrossthe town, so I think we're going to be eating quite a bit.

Want to try some? Later.

Mmmm.

That's really good.

Really tasty.

We are looking for more meat.

Carnivores today! There is only bread available right now soeveryone is waiting patiently while they slice more Bresaola.

I've got some more Bresaola.

I think by the end of the day we're goingto be suffering from meat sweats.

It's so good.

It's so good, I wish I knew how to describethis properly but it is just good.

You need to come to Italy and try it.

What else can I say.

This one here appears to be a bit of a darkermeat than we've tried before.

And I'm pairing it with some bread.

One big bite.

Yeah, that's awesome.

More bresaola guys.

You know lunchtime is about an hour away andI feel like I'm just walking around town eating my appetizer.

It's pretty nice.

First impressions so far? So what I've been noticing as we've been wanderingaround is that there is a lot of different stands open selling all kinds of differentthings.

As you can see behind me there is rugs beingsold.

Oh, so it is not just about the food.

Nope.

So the mood here is very happy, very jovial.

There are lots of different bands playingat every square around town.

I just feel bad for the puppies.

Some people are walking around with theirdogs and they just look a little frightened and startled.

Okay, and this meat appears to be a bit lighterthan the last one I tried.

Again, I have the same dark bread.

It is so good I can see why they have a wholefestival just based on meat.

So that is a wrap for us from the festival.

I don't think either of us has ever been toa festival that is centered around just one particular food item.

But it was really cool, a little bit quirkyand definitely one of the more interesting things we did while in Italy.

But not for vegetarians.

Definitely not.

One of the pleasures of coming to Italy isindulging in the local ice cream known as gelato.

Here we've each got two cones.

I've got the waffle cone over here and Audrey'sgoing to be trying the regular cone.

We've got different flavors and we can't waitto try a taste test now.

Okay, so I went for a medium sized cone withtwo scoops.

The first flavor is wild berries and the secondone on top is a bit unusual.

It is pear and cheese.

I've never had cheese flavored ice cream beforeunless it was cheesecake.

So it should be interesting.

Mmmmm.

Okay, wild berries are really good.

One more lick.

Mmmm.

Okay.

So that is the pear and cheese.

It has real chunks of pear so it is very fruity.

It has a nice strong flavor.

And you also taste a hint of cheese.

I couldn't tell you what kind of cheese itis but it is coming through.

I'm very happy with the selection.

Now tell us about the flavors in your giantwaffle cone.

Yeah, so I picked two as well.

This one over here is black cherry.

Hahaha.

Is that good? A bit of brain freeze.

I took too big of a bite.

Yeah, you can really taste the cherry.

It is very strong and over here is pistachio.

And pistachio is awesome.

It is one of my favorite ice cream flavors.

I think the only one I particularly like moreis rum and raisin but they didn't have that.

So what would be the difference between gelatoand regular ice cream that we're used to in North America? Okay, so there are a few key differences.

First up, gelato is churned at a slower rateso that means it gets less air and then it has a thicker, denser quality.

And the second key difference is that gelatohas a lower fat content which means the flavors of the ice cream really come through.

So that is why I like gelato a lot betterthan ice cream.

So gelato is also served at a slightly highertemperature than ice cream meaning it melts fast and that is why we're gobbling it downreally quickly right now.

Mmmhhhmm.

Yours is already melting.

It sure is.

And how about that price point for that deliciouslittle treat we enjoyed? Okay, so my medium sized cone was two fiftyand Sam's was three fifty.

And those prices are in Euros.

And also a gelato is really easy to find injust about any city.

Just as we were walking down the street wecame across maybe like four or five different shops, so try it out the next time you'rein Italy.

So it is lunchtime here in Milan and we figuredwhy not have pizza when in Italy.

I've only had pizza once the whole time I'vebeen here and it was time to try a few others.

So we've been walking around the city andwe walked by this one shop and we saw they had like these extra thick slices of pizza.

It almost looked like a focaccia bread withtoppings.

So we went in there and grabbed two slices.

Tell us what did you get for yourself? So I got the one that had salami and mozzarella.

And this reminds me a lot of the pizza I hadin Buenos Aires in Argentina.

These massive thick slices that you wouldjust go into a shop and order.

And I think this is going to be delicious.

Ooh, time for the first bite.

And I like that has already been pre-slicedinto small little pieces for us.

Perfect for lunch at the park.

That's really good.

Tasty? Oh, yeah.

Oh, yeah.

Gooey cheese? Oh, yeah.

I don't even have anything to say.

Hahaha.

What did you get on yours? Okay, so mine has what I believe in mozzarellaand some small tomatoes and basil leaves.

So it looks really good.

And I was asking the guy who served our pizza,you know, what kind of pizza is it? What style is it? And he called it pizza al trancio.

And I looked that up and it basically meanspizza by the piece or pizza by the slice.

And as you can see it has already been pre-slicedinto little portions, so it is perfect for you know just getting it to go, having lunchat a park or eating it outdoors.

Yeah, we're having it in a park now as itjust starts to rain.

So time to try this.

It looks wonderful.

Oh my goodness.

Wow! Is that good? Oh, yeah.

So the dough, I mean it is really thick butit also has a bit of a fluffy quality to it and that is like a thick layer of cheese aswell.

Like that is a generous amount of cheese.

Check this out? Look at all that cheese.

It kind of reminds me of Chicago Deep Dishstyle as well.

So the only other slice of pizza we've hadin Milan so far was the super super thin slice of pizza.

How does this over here compare? Well, you can never go wrong with pizza asfar as I'm concerned.

But if I had to choose, one of the two, Iwould go with the thicker pizza.

I just love the thick dough and the generousamount of cheese.

That is just unbelievable.

And you're getting more bang for your buckso it is more food technically.

Yeah, that is true.

And how much did those two slices of pizzacost? Okay, so that was seven Euros total for thetwo slices.

So about three fifty each.

Not bad for such a giant slice of pizza, I'dsay.

Good afternoon from the city of Bergamo.

Today we took a day trip from Milan, we rodethe train for less than an hour and we arrived at a completely new destination.

So we've been exploring the town of Bergamoand we also learned that there is a dessert that is very popular in this city.

And that is what I have right here.

This right here is called Polenta e osei.

And Polenta is made from corn.

It is kind of like a finely ground corn ormaze.

And it is usually served in savory disheswith like a tomato sauce or some type of other sauce.

Um, but it has been turned into a desserthere.

So we're having sweet Polenta.

And apparently the name means 'a bird' oseiis meant to be bird in the local dialect.

So yeah, bird polenta.

That is what we're having today.

Time to take a bite.

Mmmm.

Bird polenta.

Mmmm.

It's supposed to be really sweet.

Is it? I wonder if it is just polenta on the exteriorbecause look at the inside.

It almost looks a little bit like cake.

So I wonder if it is just the yellow coatingthat is the polenta.

I'm not entirely sure.

And is it sweet? Oh, very sweet.

Very sugary.

I mean you can see the granulated sugar onthe outside.

Super sweet.

But yeah, it is a completely new dessert forme.

Want to give it a try? And it is unique to here.

We later discovered that the reason it tastedso sweet is because we had a lost in translation moment with our guide.

The dessert we tried bares the exact samename as a savory polenta dish with a bird cooked inside.

The dessert was given this name because fromthe exterior it looks just like polenta but when you bite in it is cake.

A little confusing but nevertheless tasty.

Your turn to give it a try.

Oh, he's making out with it.

Wow! That is some kind of sweet.

What do you think? Some kind of sweet? It is definitely tasty.

Yeah.

That is the kind of thing that I don't thinkI could eat this whole thing.

It is too sweet.

It is a little overpowering isn't it? It is.

You know, I feel quite lucky to have had theopportunity to try this today because we got a recommendation from a local upon arriving.

And we had no idea that this even existed.

Polenta as a dessert? Hmmmm.

Who knew? And now I think you should try whatever ison top there.

Do you think that is marzipan? It's a kind of chocolate.

I don't know.

What is he doing? Yeah, I think it is.

Yeah? It's also really sweet.

Wow.

I'm getting a bit of a sugar high right now.

Do you think you can finish all of that? Is that like a challenge? Oh.

Does that mean challenge accepted? Okay, try and describe this dessert for someonewho has never had it before? Yeah, it is quite unique.

So the outer layer here, you can see it ismostly granulated sugar and polenta.

That is probably the sweetest parts.

And inside it is kind of like a sponge cakewith an icing filling.

And upon further research it looks like we'vefound a secret chocolate layer in the middle.

Okay, so this is the dessert that keeps ongiving basically.

Yeah, basically.

So in terms of price point you can pick upthis dessert at almost any pastry shop inside the old town.

It costs three Euros and I found it so sweetthat you can probably split it and share it with two people.

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