Where and what to eat in Bolzano, even during the Christmas markets. Five specialties not to be missed if you visit the beautiful cities of Bolzano, so as not to go home without having tried the best of the city.
Wines, craft beer, apples and berries, desserts and pies, wholemeal bread and cereals, sausages, meats, cheeses: the gastronomy in South Tyrol is simple and unpretentious, but it has nothing to envy to that of other Italian regions. The ingredients produced on farms and mountain farms are often of the highest quality and the typical traditional recipes are just as tasty. But what to choose from a bilingual Italian-German menu in an Altotesino restaurant? Start with these 5 proposals.
1. Rye sandwich with speck
Fun and nutritious, the rye sandwich with gherkins, lettuce leaves and speck, is the ideal snack for every citizen of Bolzano after a hike in the mountains. Speck is a type of lightly smoked and spiced raw ham produced in the Val Venosta and Pusteria valleys of Alto Adige. It is a sliced meat with an unmistakable and decisive taste and in addition to being a must in the preparation of sandwiches it is used to flavor first courses.
2. The dumplings
Impossible to visit South Tyrol without trying these dumplings of stale bread, eggs, flour, parsley and milk. The classics are with speck and are served in meat broth sprinkled with a pinch of chives. Also very tasty are those with spianaci or beetroot with melted butter and cheese, accompanied by a cap salad. Do not miss them even in their sweet version, with apricot filling.
3. Spinach Spaetzle with cream
A valid alternative to dumplings, also very popular with children, are spaetzle, dumplings made from wheat flour, eggs, water and boiled spinach. Here they are on the plate: green vermicelli stir-fried in a cream sauce and (obviously) speck. Beware, they are addictive.
4. The smoked shank with potatoes and sauerkraut
For those who visit Bolzano in the winter and are looking for a hearty dish, the advice is to focus on smoked shank with potatoes and sauerkraut, a rich and typical dish that never ceases to satisfy the most demanding palates (and stomachs). How to tell if you are eating a smoked shank worthy of tradition? The shank will be good if the meat is cooked for a long time and is tender, soft and well flavored. The potatoes are roasted and the sauerkraut boiled in a pan with a little water, at the end of cooking a sauté is then added to flavor them.
5. The Heisse Liebe
Heisse Liebe is the summer dessert par excellence on South Tyrol's menus. It's a cup of vanilla ice cream garnished with a warm raspberry sauce. Much more than a fruit salad with ice cream, Heisse Liebe hot-cold is pure spoon aphrodisias. Seeing is believing.
And now that you know what to eat in Bolzano, it remains to find out where to go to enjoy these delicacies. There are many possibilities for low-cost lunch and dinner, from banquets to sandwiches with wuerstel and mustard scattered everywhere in the city center to the Altotesine bakeries that often offer a large selection of baked goods, stuffed sandwiches, cheese pretzels, sweets and drinks.
But if you want to savor the true soul of Bolzano, enter its breweries, the breweries in Bolzano are places where young and old, South Tyroleans and tourists meet.