Eat Ticino! Mangia il Ticino! (Part 1)


Canton Ticino is unique in the fact that, within just over one hundred kilometres, you can travel from the glaciers to the sun-drenched plains, stroll through the fir trees but also under the palms and, above all, enjoy the sight of the alpine streams that feed the rivers and famous lakes. As well as being a key feature in the Ticino landscape, these lakes and rivers provide the ideal habitat for an incredible variety of fish, essential to the local diet and economy in the past.
This heritage is evident in the regional culinary tradition, which uses all types of fish.
Top quality fish is available fresh from the local fishermen: trout, perch, white fish, char, pike and zander, as well as eel and tench. A typical local dish is pesce in carpione, marinated in vinegar and vegetables and delicious on hot summer days. Pilot private and public projects, some of which extend over the borders into neighbouring countries, aim to promote river and lake fish, with the objective of safeguarding the livelihood handed down from father to son.

Cold Cuts and Meats

One of the most important and longest-standing culinary traditions in Ticino is the ‘mazza’, meaning the slaughter of pigs. This is a ritual that at one time brought families and village communities together, performed by butchers whose fame spread from settlement to settlement.
Changes to our lifestyle and legislation concerning the production of cured meats meant that this celebration of food has moved from the farmyard to the abattoir. Nevertheless, the flavours and expertise belonging to this great tradition have not been lost. Recently, many farmers have also begun to rear beef cattle, producing succulent, prized cuts of meat. From the selection of cured meats and by-products produced, salami and pork, horse, venison and wild boar salametti are becoming ever more popular, and are a fixture in every grotto. Other fine foods include dried meat (beef and horse), Cappocollo, lard, flat and rolled pancetta, Luganiga sausage, Luganighetta (fantastic barbecued or in a risotto), raw or cooked liver mortadella, pig’s trotter and Violino di Capra (goat prosciutto). Other dishes that appeal to foodies are ossobuco (cross-cut veal shank), braised meat and shin, accompanied by polenta or risotto, barbecued baby back pork ribs, goat and lamb from the region’s pastures and busecca (tripe soup).


We would like to thank Ticino a Tavola. All the recommendations from this article are taken from:

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