Camilla Lunelli is director of communication and external relations of Cantine Ferrari. Trentino, passionate about its territory, good wine and excellent food, guides us to discover local products and restaurants that tell the story of the mountain through tastes and flavors of unmistakable authenticity.
Let’s start our tour in the Val di Non where Mieli Thun, the company founded by Andrea Paternoster, who tragically passed away last year, continues its pioneering activity in the search for quality on the honey monofloral in purity. There, Castel Thun, recently reopened to the public, is also worth a visit.
Andrea Paternoster, the beekeeper who left us too soon
by Eleonora Cozzella
Mortandela is also typical of the valley. «Salumi – explains Lunelli – made with pork meat which has a peasant origin right in our valleys, when nothing was thrown away from the pig, and which should not be confused with mortadella. It has a strong and spicy flavor and goes well with potato tortelli with cheeses». We know of the history of mortandela that peasant families bought a pig on the day of the saints, reared it and cared for it all year round before slaughtering it. The shoulder, bacon and throat meat is deboned, defatted and ground in a mortar together with the spices. The dough is divided into patties and left to dry, then smoked, then cured for anywhere from a week to a month.
The relationship with the mountain is historically difficult and many of the typical products of the territory arise precisely from conditions of poverty that sharpen the ingenuity. Another typical product with peasant origins is the Storo polenta in the Giudicarie valleys, from the classic reddish color of marano wheat cobs which is still ground today in the town mill built in 1921. «Here in Trentino there is the tradition of freshwater fish, wrongly considered the younger brother of sea fish. A beautiful reality is that of Trota Oro in Preore in the Adamello Brenta Natural Park, in the Brenta Dolomites».
And then the white asparagus from Zambana, which Lunelli is passionate about, grown in the north of Trento, in San Michele all’Adige. Paganella helps the growth of asparagus because the mountain provides shade during the hottest hours and accumulates heat which it releases during the night. All the asparagus is picked by hand at dawn to avoid exposure to the sun’s rays, which would alter its organoleptic properties, and so that it remains completely white.
In these mountains you can also find beautiful stories of youth entrepreneurship such as that of Mountain Eggs, with an excellent egg production set up by two boys who value the animal and the territory by guaranteeing high quality standards and breeding according to the Steiner method. «We are in Val di Gresia, where there is also a great tradition for vegetables. In fact, it is customary for us to say that if the cabbages or carrots come from Val di Gresia, they are synonymous with quality». In Predazzo, then, in Val di Fiemme, there is the Felicetti pasta factory, a company closely linked to its territory but which has reached a national and international dimension that focuses on quality.
«The main feature of all these products is the mountain, and it is the same for Trento Doc bubbles – says Lunelli -. The fact that ours is a territory for 70% above 1000 meters of altitude implies that the mountain itself becomes a decisive ingredient of the product and affects its characteristics. If on the one hand the mountain distills a particularly intense taste, on the other it presents very clear production difficulties. Yields are smaller, we see this clearly also with the grape, which varies both in quantity and quality. It produces less but it produces better».
Alongside traditional realities, there are high-level restaurants that bond to the territory with creativity. As the Margon inn, where in the kitchen the creative flair of Edoardo Fumagalli combines local flavors and the common thread of the offer are the Trento Doc bubbles, also used as an ingredient. In the same location, also Villa Margon, a 16th century residence, and you can also visit the cellar to combine the goodness of the dishes and the bubbles, the beauty of nature, the vineyards and the art of the villa.
«Another address is that of the table of Peter Brunel in the Valle dei Laghi, in Arco di Trento, which offers a decidedly unique experience – advises Lunelli – or the Maso Naranch, a rustic structure run by young people that offers local cuisine with a view of Lake Garda. Or again, in Val di Fiemme, the Baita La Morea in Bellamontean all-wood structure in the heart of the Dolomites».