Waiting for the ski lifts to reopen ... let's enjoy 'Gustautunno 2022'!

We know that you, passionate skiers, are just like us: waiting 'feverishly' for the reopening of ski lifts for the 2022/23 winter season!

Not long now, the slopes are scheduled to reopen on 3 December (except in special weather conditions).

If you have already booked your stay or are planning to do so, hurry, until 6 November is possible pre-purchase I seasonal ski pass at favourable rates.

But in the meantime, should you wish to take a short break from the daily routine, our Bormio always has something to offer.

This November is the turn of 'Gustautunno', the culinary review par excellence!

After the famous 'Pizzoccherata' the typical autumn flavours of our cuisine.

Tradition, innovation e contrasts of flavours: this is the promise of the taste experience in the Bormio area thanks to this initiative, created to promote e enhance the culinary ideas in October and November.

Space then for the bormini restaurants, to the typical products and the creativity of chefs!

There are many participating restaurants offering a set menu that is strictly 'local' and certainly tempting to the palate.

There will be an opportunity to taste the "Sciatt"a typical speciality of our Valtellina: crispy round pancakes hiding a tasty Casera cheese heartalso typical of the area.

Like pizzoccheri, sciatt are also made from buckwheat. The batter that envelops the Casera cheese cubes is flavoured with a small glass of grappa or brandy and diluted with sparkling water or beer to give it that extra crunch and flavour.
A curiosity: the name of these fritters in dialect means '.toad"Their swollen, irregular shape echoes that of these animals.

Another typical dish that you can find among the various menus are the 'Taroz'. It is a dish with poor originsmade with local products that are easily cultivated in the mountains. Taroz are with potatoes, green beans, cheese and butterall ingredients that may have been left over in the kitchen the day before. In fact, the meaning of Taroz is mixture, as all these ingredients are mixed together.

This dish is so 'poor' that until recently it was not even on the menu of restaurants or trattorias, whereas now it can be easily found and is an integral part of traditional dishes.

It is quite a calorific and energetic dish, so it is better not to abuse it, although it will be difficult, as they are mouth-watering!

Cooking yellow polenta in a traditional copper pot

Another poor but definitely tasty dish is the polenta cuncia (or tanning): polenta enriched with butter e cheese.

This dish is widespread in northern Italy and it is the cheeses that determine its geographical identity, which feeds that sense of belonging and territoriality that distinguishes the culinary history of our country.

Here in Valtellina we use the Bittothe typical cheese produced exclusively in Valtellina.

The flavour is sweet and delicate, gradually becoming more intense as the cheese matures. The possible addition of goat's milk intensifies the characteristic aroma.

To produce the genuine Bitto DOP from Valtellinaonly milk from the Sondrio province territory and from the alpine pastures of the neighbouring territories of some municipalities in the Upper Brembana Valley in the province of Bergamo may be used. The original 'Bitto' cheese, as the PDO regulations state, is produced exclusively with freshly milked whole raw cow's milk from traditional breeds in the area that follow a controlled diet.

There is also the Bitto Historical Rebela Slow Food Presidium cheese that is also produced exclusively during the summer months in alpine pastures, when native cows and goats are brought to the alpine pastures in summer. The historic Bitto rebel has even more restricted specifications and more limited production areas.

And if we talk about typical cheese, it is impossible not to mention the Scimudin, a soft table cheese of short maturation. Sweet and delicate in taste, it is characterised by its unmistakable milky flavour.

Its texture is very soft and recommended with salads, vegetables and fresh fruit. In the kitchen, its best use is in the preparation of sauces, as it lends itself well to being whipped.

There will be no shortage of dishes based on buckwheat, come on first (like ravioli) to the sweet (crust or biscuits).

This was also a staple food in the diet of farmers in Valtellina and the entire Alpine region until the beginning of the last century.

It is a hardy plant, resistant to cold climates and difficult to attack by pests, useful for exploiting the soil in the summer months, in the resting period after the winter harvest of rye, potatoes and barley.

Buckwheat flour was once considered to be of little value, good only for the poor cuisine of the peasants, who were, however, able to enhance its flavour with simple recipes that are still highly appreciated today (remember the famous Pizzoccheri, the dish par excellence made with buckwheat flour!).

And finally, the typical autumn flavours of game, mushrooms and chestnuts will be widely available.

Nature gives us a lot, it is then up to the creativity of our chefs to enhance the flavours, discover new combinations and combinations.

All you have to do is sit down at the table and be surprised and won over by the flavours of Valtellina.

Until next time,

Dario