5 delicious typical Italian dishes and where to eat them in Milan
One of the most immersive experiences we can have while travelling is to taste the typical local dishes. Certain combinations of ingredients give a unique result depending on the places where they are tasted. One of the fundamental ingredients of the kitchen and in particular of typical Italian dishes is the place where that meal was conceived and prepared.
Each traditional recipe is the result of the combination of the specific ingredients of that territory and the relationships around that specific dish. It is no coincidence that the French geologist Jean Brunhes said:
“To eat is to incorporate a territory.”
The cuisine is an integral part of a country’s history and culture, which is particularly significant in a country like Italy, which boasts the world record for the variety and breadth of its agri-food heritage. A recognition due to the ability to enhance the biodiversity on its territory and its region’s food and culinary traditions.
Why discover the typical Italian dishes in Milan?
If in the 1980s a well-known advertising slogan identified Milan as the city to drink, today Milan is also the gourmet city where you can enjoy a wide variety of products, from traditional Italian cuisine to international dishes.
The theme chosen for Expo Milano 2015, Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, emphasizing the importance of biodiversity and quality from a sustainable perspective, has given new life to the world of Milanese hospitality.
Before heading to Milan, take a look at these typical Italian dishes and find out where to find them on your next trip.
Top best places where to eat traditional dishes in Milan
We accompany you to discover a typical day in Milan through the tasting of 5 typical Italian dishes that you absolutely must taste.
“The days should start with a hug, a kiss, a caress and a coffee. Because breakfast must be abundant.”
Charles M. Schulz, Peanuts
Breakfast in Italy is sweet. The classic combination to be consumed out-of-home is cappuccino and brioche in Milan. You may also hear it referred to as a croissant and cornetto, but although these three are often confused, their recipes are actually slightly different, and in Milan, you’ll only hear them called brioche.
Where to taste it: it is usually eaten in the bar close to home, or in the one near the office. It will not be difficult to find your favourite during your stay, have fun tasting them all.
“Fantasy is like jam, it must be spread on a solid slice of bread.”
La Michetta is a type of blown bread, hollow inside, recognizable by its star design. It was the officials of the Austro-Hungarian Empire who brought the Keisersemmel, a rose-shaped sandwich, to Milan. The Milanese bakers deprived the bread of the crumb to keep it fresh and fragrant until evening. Kaisersemmel was thus Italianized in the recipe and in the name that originated from the micca, bread at the time widespread in northern Italy and whose term originally meant crumb.
Where to taste it: you can find the michetta in the best bakeries in Milan, it is particularly well-suited to prepare delicious stuffed sandwiches to carry in your backpack so you can enjoy them while visiting the city.
“There is no better way to bring people together than with dessert.”
It is the symbol of Christmas, but today we can find it in pastry shops all year round. It is a leavened cake typical of Milan, made with complex production techniques. Today the large industrial panettone companies are located throughout Italy, but it is in Milan that there are still many artisans who produce a panettone according to the traditional recipe.
Where to taste it: look for it in the historic pastry shops of Milan, only they keep the secret of the traditional recipe.
“A people with such a great variety of aperitifs as ours cannot starve.”
This is not a real typical dish but the aperitif is the speciality of Milan. This is where the concept of aperitif was born in the 1920s and where the Amaro Campari was created, the soul of the favourite cocktails of the happy hour, as well as of the spritz! The Milanese aperitif combines different cocktails with small meals to prepare the stomach before dinner.
Where to taste it: between 6 pm and 8 pm the city is full of bars and places to grab a cocktail and a bite. You usually pay for a drink while the food is free, in the form of a buffet of typical Italian dishes and antipasti like pizzette, pasta, fried onion rings, cheeses, olives, and more.
5. Risotto alla milanese
Rice is born in water and dies in wine.
Its characteristic yellow colour comes from saffron, a spice used by glassmakers to obtain a particular yellow colour of the glass. The official birth dates back to a group of Belgian glassmakers who added spice to the risotto prepared for the wedding of the daughter of their master glassmaker Valerio di Fiandra in 1574.
Where to taste it: you can find the Milanese risotto in the best restaurants and in the best taverns in Milan.
Now you just have to learn the vocabulary to order your favourite Italian dish at the restaurant, choose the ELLCI Italian courses for foreigners. Train yourself with the vocabulary of kitchen objects in Italian.