Local foodstuffs

There are many gastronomic products in the province of Brescia.
Most important is olive oil , produced on the shores of both Lake Garda and Lake Iseo though in smaller quantities in the latter. Both areas, however, produce oil that is held to be among the best in Italy. Garda oil is nearly all extra-virgin, tasty and delicate, rich in nutrition and easily digestible. It is commonly used in restaurants and can be bought either where the olive are pressed or directly from the producers.

The cheese are many and various depending on the soil, climate, humidity, summer pastures, and type of forage available. Best known is Bagolino’s local cheese, the “Bagòss”, produced by hand in the local pastures. It is a hard cheese ripened over two years and is excellent grilled. Typical of the hills surrounding northern Garda is “formaggella di Tremosine”, a soft, fragrant cheese. “Garda” is a hard, semi-cooked, single-cream cheese which is either grated or eaten as it is depending on how long it has been allowed to ripen.
Another soft cheese comes from Valcamonica, it is known as “Rosa camuna” and has an unmistakable flavour. Wherever there are pastures in the mountains, local butter can be found, made with fresh cream and “puina”, cottage cheese. “Fiurìt” should also be mentioned which is a rather liquid form of cottage cheese. The dairies in lower Brescia, in the Lombardy plain, produce “robiola”, “stracchino” and “grana padano”. The first two are soft cheeses and the third similar in consistency and taste to parmesan.
Another type of product which is very common are “insaccati”, meat products such as sausages, salami and cotechino (spiced pork sausages for boiling): these are often made by hand on farms. Valcamonica has a long tradition of such products and Cedegolo is famous for its pork and mutton sausages.

Photo: Ole1981