To taste Ladin cuisine when you are in the Alta Badia, as well as enjoying the area and the natural surroundings, means to get really close to the rural roots and the ancient traditions that so deeply mark this valley, unique in the Dolomites scenario.
Traditional cuisine in Alta Badia has its roots in the farm cuisine of oldest ancestors. Few food stuff were available in the close surroundings, then the dishes were poor and easy to make and highly characterised by daily life in their preparation (festivals, times of need and even superstition).
The lack of ingredients actually inspired the housewives to create delicious dishes using sparse ingredients and these dishes such as barley soup, Turtres (fried pastries filled with spinach or Sauerkraut), Cajinci (Ravioli filled with spinach) or Furtaies (a spiral-shaped, fried dessert) remain some the most popular specialities of traditional cooking up to today.
Ladin cuisine, which started out on simple farm tables, has been handed down and jealously preserved over the generations, with a cultural awareness that has tried to preserve the very best of local customs.
In the last years the traditional ladin gastronomy has gained respect and is internationally reknowned, thanks to the fantasy of some chiefs and the ambitions of the local gastronomy.
To start the enchanting experience since breakfast time, milk, butter and cheese, all have the flavour of high mountain hay. You will be sure to have worked up a healthy appetite since the wake up with a unique tasty breakfast, and later, maybe after a hike, you will be spoilt for choice among pastas or main courses, hors d’oeuvres and desserts just waiting to be savoured in restaurants, typical mountain rifugios, or at your hotel.
The most widespread dish is without doubt “canederli”. These bread dumplings originate from Austrian cuisine but have since been adapted to suit local tastes. Canederli, which can be made using cheese, speck (smoked cured ham) or spinach can be eaten in broth or dry, with a little melted butter and grated cheese.
Meat is also a very important ingredient in the traditional dishes of the Ladin cuisine.
The typical sweet desserts like “Furtaies” or “Strudel”.
Also wild fruits like currant, raspberry and blueberry, or mushrooms are a very important part of the tradition. Season by season, they can become realyl protagonists in dishes and menus of the area, on the house tables, like as on the best gourmet restaurants ones.
Traditional dishes still preserve their ladin names:
- Paniccia: barley soup
- Turtres: small, round cakes filled with curd cheese and spinach, sauerkraut or poppy
- Cajincí arstîs: kind of large fried piece of potatoes ravioli filled with, spinach, poppy, or chestnut jam.
- Cajincí t´ega:spinach and ricotta homemade “ravioli”
- Gnoch da zigher: ,cheese gnocchi
- Bales da cioce: bread and ham, bread and spinach, or bread and cheese dumplings – Italian “canederli”, German “Knödel”
- Crafuns mori:sweet pastry filled with berries jam.
- Furtaies: kind of fried pasta noodle, tasted with red berries sauce
- Cütles da pom: fried batter and apple rings
If you like gourmet made with sustainable food, and travel is fro you a way to discover roots and traditions of the place you traveling, then don’t miss the chance to find out and savour Ladin cooking.