Extravirgin Olive Oil
Lake Garda is the land of fishing, but also the land of the olives (the east side Riviera, of which Garda is part of is known as the “Riviera degli Olivi” Characteristically of an intense yellow to dark green in colour, this product of the “Gods” came about by magic from these lands so generous with man.
A gifted natural product, discovered over the years and made known to the new generations. The kitchens of the Gardesana families can not be without a bottle of good extra virgin olive oil from Lake Garda, an oil of ancient history which brings out the flavours in the food and a healthy touch to ones organism.
Among all the “regal” products in the Gardesana area there is also the vine yards and the excellent wine produced.
Without doubt the best known wine on the Veronese side of the lake is the Bardolino wine. Produced with three characteristic grapes, made up of corvina, rondinella and molinara, it is a wine which is generally consumed when young. The discipline of the production of the “Bardolino” establishes the following characteristics:
COLOUR: it must be ruby red tending to granite with aging, or rosè for the Chiaretto. SMELL: must be winey, with a very delicate perfume, fresh and pleasant. TASTE: dry, harmonious, sapid and lightly bitterish in the back taste. In the area marked out by the “Consorzio e tutela del vino Bardolino” (wine consortium) you can find the following qualities: Bardolino Classico d.o.c., Bardolino Classico Superiore d.o.c.g., Bardolino Chiaretto Classisco d.o.c., Bardolino Chiaretto Classico d.o.c. sparkling wine, Bardolino Classico d.o.c. novello.
The sparkling wine is excellent for aperitifs and with fish entrées, the chiaretto (rosè) goes very well with slightly fatty fish cooked on the grill, the Bardolino Classico, for excellence, is the wine that goes well with the “entire meal” and blends well with all food. Served fresh from the wine cellar at around 15° -18°. It also goes well with fish that are a little fatty as the eel, or with risotto with tench or stockfish.
On the border of Verona, entering into the Bresciano area you will find the land of another great wine: the Lugana.
In recent years, according to the experts, it has taken up an important position on the national and international market becoming one of the best white wines in the world. An affirmation which is confirmed by the commercialisation of the product, which in recent years has seen the product sold out even before the new crop has been placed on the market.
It is exclusively produced with Trebbiano di Lugana grapes, the discipline consents only the addition of 10% of white berry grapes which come from non-aromatic vine yards. The principal characteristics are the following: brilliant, straw yellow with green reflections, a clear, well defined bouquet with grassy and white peach notes, supported by fine mineral tones; it spreads out over the palate and is quite juicy, with good extraction – a wine with great depth.
Excellent with fish and in the barrique variety it is also wonderful with white flesh meat.
Other wines which deserve a mention are the different varieties from Lake Garda. There are different varieties present in the lake district, or others made with famous international vines as Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. The principal wines are: GARDA CORTESE d.o.c., made with the renowned vine of “Cortese grapes”. GARDA GARGANEGA d.o.c., made with “Garganega grapes” which is well known as being used in the production of the Soave wine. There is also another variety of the chiaretto wine (rosè) which has the name of GARDA CHIARETTO CLASSICO.
Not to forget that we also have numerous wines which are famous all over the world. e.g.: AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO, the “RIPASSO”, VALPOLICELLA, BIANCO DI CUSTOZA and SOAVE. All wines that you can certainly find and taste in our restaurants
In our itinerary, discovering the tastes and perfumes of our kitchen, we couldn’t not mention our pastries.
The most famous two are: SANVIGILINI and the ZALLETTI. Prepared with flour, butter, eggs, sugar, sultanas and baking powder, the sanvigilini are a typical biscuit from Garda, or as the name suggests, they were created at Punta San Vigilio, in the legendary inn, over looking the small port, run during the sixties by Leonard Walsh, an eccentric British character. He ordered that the sanvigilini be made after the Second World War when Winston Churchill came to San Vigilio for a short holiday. Officially his stay was for a break and to relax painting, but the real reason, according to some was his hunt of the secret documents in Benito Mussolini’s possession.
Whether it is true, or not, is still to be demonstrated. For years the sanvigilini were surrounded by mystery: it was impossible to know the contents of the recipe. The only clue was that they were similar to certain English butter biscuits which were served with tea. Then something came out….and now you can find then in the restaurants and cake shops in Garda. The zalletti are a new interpretation of the sanvigilini, they are larger in size and are made with corn flour instead of wheat flour.