Tastes of the Mountains: A Gastronomic Journey through High-Altitude Dishes
The mountain regions of the world not only offer breathtaking views and fresh, clean air, but also a rich culinary tradition. Typical mountain dishes often feature local, robust and nutritious ingredients that meet the needs of residents living in sometimes adverse environments. In this gastronomic journey through the peaks of the world, we will explore some of the typical dishes that characterise Alagnese cuisine. The recipes are, in part, taken from the publication:” Valli del Rosa in cucina” by Idea Editrice.
Low-fat diet forbidden!
D'LAND TURTA - ALAGNA CAKE
Ingredients for 10 persons:
Wheat flour g.150; cream dl 4; butter g 150; caster sugar g 100; red wine dl 5; eggs n 4; corn flour g 80; milk dl 2; yeast g 6; salami g 50; toma cheese g 50; apples g 300; dried figs g 100; sultanas g 100.
The cake was only made in winter because milk produced in the first few days after the cow had calved was needed to make it. As this milk heated up, it coagulated, allowing the cake to remain soft. It was then baked for a few minutes on a tripod and then placed inside covered with embers.
Mix the flours evenly. Prepare the toppings: the sausage blanched and cut into small pieces, the cheese cubed as well as the figs and apples. In a bowl, now combine the eggs, part of the milk, add the flours, mixing to obtain a homogeneous mixture without lumps; continue until all the ingredients have been used up (the yeast must be diluted in the water, while the butter must be added at the end, just before adding the toppings). The mixture obtained should have a soft consistency. Now pour it into a non-stick pastry mould (or into a container that must in any case be buttered and floured) and place it in the oven at a temperature of 180°c for at least 20 minutes
MILIJENTSCHA - MIACCE
Millijentscha miacce, millet wafers? Possibly, probably referring perhaps to the fact that the main ingredient was millet
The first document that mention Miacce is dated back to 1488
These are thin wafers.
Every country, every family has its own recipe but the base remains the same for everyone (flour, milk, salt). Few ingredients for a poor dish but one that has the strength to characterise the territory.
Made in the evening around the fire, they are an alternative to bread and an integral part of an important moment of aggregation. So customary as to become almost synonymous with getting together for a chat around the fire!
Mix cream (not all schools of thought agree on this ingredient) flour and milk until the mixture is quite thick but still liquid. Pour a ladleful of the mixture onto one of the two hot plates of the miaccio irons (special irons previously heated and greased with lard are required), hold the iron over the fire. (The iron used today is composed of two discs hinged together and joined by a long handle useful for turning them over the fire without burning).
Cook the miacce on both sides and serve stuffed with salami, toma cheese, melted butter or jam.
In conclusion, typical mountain dishes offer not only a delicious gastronomic experience, but are also a window into the traditions and community life that inhabit these unique environments. Each bite tells a story of resilience, adaptation and celebration of local resources.
So, the next time you find yourself among the peaks, savour the culinary richness that only the mountains can offer